in the light of the taking of 12 nuns in Syria, Xavier Beauvois' film about the assassination of Tibhirine is more powerful than ever

Earlier this week Xavier Beauvois’ magnificent 2010 film, Of Gods and Men, was screened on BBC Four – it’s up on the iPlayer until Sunday and I would urge anyone with access to the site to catch it.

The film tells the story of the assassination of the monks of the Notre-Dame de l’Atlas of Tibhirine, who were kidnapped during the Algerian civil war in 1996. Seven monks were snatched by twenty armed members of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and they were held for two months before being killed.

Of Gods and Men is an elegant, respectful and thought-provoking piece of filmmaking. And, as the story unfolds of 12 nuns being taken from their village in Syria by Islamist rebel forces, now seems like a timely moment to watch (or re-watch) it.

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