Des Hommes et Des Deux

Dear Gabriel,

Go and see a French film out now, called ‘Of Gods and Men,’ about the monks in North Africa who were murdered by Islamist extremists in 1996, and do better than me.

I was so frightened by the tension that I left half way through it, but my wife gave me a full account. She said it was really about the power of faith in adversity. The monks know they may well be killed if they stay.

One asks: ‘did we form the monastery to commit collective suicide?’ Yet they stay. There is a beautiful scene in which one of them produces a tape recorder and they stay.