Xavier Beauvois co-wrote and directed this thoughtful true story of a small Trappist monastery situated in a poor Algerian Muslim village overrun with fundamentalist mercenaries.Brother Christian (Lambert Wilson) is the spiritual leader, Brother Luc (Michael Lonsdale) the doctor who tends to the desperate medical needs of the locals. When the rebels demand that Luc care for their wounded, the monks find they must choose among military protection, exile, or standing their ground. Beauvois creates an authentic pastoral setting beset by murder and mayhem, and the actors playing the monks are utterly convincing as men possessed of devout love and courage. The rhythms of the monks' daily lives ground the film in sensual detail: gardening, meals, Mass, and singing, with music as a moving counterpoint to the daily threat of violence. Religion and terrorism are the film's subtle backdrops — this is really a story of finding peace and purpose in a chaotic world.