The Cannes Film Festival is best known for its glitz and glamour; movie stars from around the world dressed to kill and basking in the sun of the French Riviera. Oftentimes, in the United States at least, the lineup of the movies takes a back seat to coverage of what Cate Blanchett or Salma Hayek wore on the red carpet.
That’s why it’s worth noting that a French film depicting the sacrifices of a group of Cistercian monks won the Grand Prix honor — the second-highest prize — at the storied festival May 23.
“Of Gods and Men” tells the story of seven French monks who were killed by Islamic fundamentalists in the 1990s after they refused to leave Algeria and return to France. The movie, which was directed by Xavier Beauvois, was purchased by Sony Pictures Classics for distribution in the United States, although its release date has not been announced.
“This movie of great artistic value benefits from a remarkable group of actors and follows the daily rhythm of work and liturgy,” the Cannes Festival jury said in a statement.