Architecture on Film: Into Great Silence

A transcendent observation of the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps and its ascetic Carthusian order. A rare, transformative cinematic experience, that embodies rather than represents its subject.


02:00pm, Sunday, 23 May 2021


05:00pm, Sunday, 23 May 2021


Cinema 1
Barbican Centre, Level -2
Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS



AF Members:
£9.60 (Please contact AF for promotional discount code)


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Tel (9am-8pm):
+44 (0)20 7638 8891

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Into Great Silence [Die Große Stille]

How does one make a film that, more than depicting a monastery, becomes a monastery itself? How? To this day, I don't know how. I only know that one can. That, at some point, this film took on form, became a monastery – space and not a narrative.

– Philip Gröning

Winner of the Sundance Special Jury Prize and the European Film Awards Prix Arte (Documentary), through experiential, elemental cinema – a meditative journey through time, light and space – the film immerses the audience in the rhythms of monastic life, changing seasons, and the practice of absolute presence.

A German documentary about Roman Catholic monks who barely utter a word, "Into Great Silence" runs 162 minutes – 162 engrossing, entrancing, enlivening minutes… Grace, it seems, makes little noise… Philip Gröning brings us inside a world as mysterious and often as silent as the dark side of the moon.
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

With no artificial light, no additional music, no commentary and near to no dialogue, Into Great Silence, a film 21 years in the making, achieves the remarkable through its masterful congruence of content and form – creating the Grande Chartreuse monastery itself inside of the viewer, and transforming the cinema auditorium into a space of reflective contemplation. 

(Germany, 2005, Philip Gröning, 169 min)