A gorgeously composed and acted film set in an isolated community of Trappist monks in the mountains of overwhelmingly Muslim Algeria, “Of Gods and Men” is both a moving, almost abstract parable of faith and an all too real episode drawn from recent history. This is a tough movie to sell, especially given that even a cursory Internet search will tell you more than you want to know about the end of the story. It’s set in the mid-’90s, when a wave of fundamentalist Islamic terrorism swept across Algeria, making life there exceedingly difficult for foreigners, especially when they represented both Christianity and the legacy of French imperialism. (To be fair, the vast majority of the people killed by Algerian terrorists in that period were not foreign or Christian — and the film makes that clear.)

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