Into Great Silence

Nestled deep in the postcard-perfect French Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is considered one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. Sixteen years after German filmmaker Philip Gröning asked the Carthusian for shooting permission, they were ready. Gröning, without crew or artificial lighting, lived in the monks’ quarters for six months—filming their daily prayers, tasks, rituals and rare outdoor excursions. This transcendent, closely observed film seeks to embody a monastery, rather than simply depict one—it has no score, no voiceover and no archival footage. What remains is stunningly elemental: time, space and light.

  • 2005
Into Great Silence

The Grande Chartreuse, the mother house of the legendary Carthusian Order, is based in the French Alps. Into Great Silence will be the first film ever about life inside the Grande Chartreuse.

Silence. Repitition. Rhythm. The film is an austere, next to silent meditation on monastic life in a very pure form. No music except the chants in the monastery, no interviews, no commentaries, no extra material.

Changing of time, seasons, and the ever repeated elements of the day, of the prayer. A film to become a monastery, rather than depict one. A film about awareness, absolute presence, and the life of men who devoted their lifetimes to god in the purest form. Contemplation. An object in time.


Philip Gröning


Philip Gröning, Nicolas Humbert

Director of Photography

Philip Gröning


Philip Gröning, Michael Weber, Andres Pfaeffli, Elda Guidinetti

Executive and Co-Producers

Jörg Schulze, Frank Evers (cine plus Filmproduktion)


Ventura Film, Bavaria Film, BR, ZDF/ ARTE


2006 Bavarian Film Prize – Best Documentary // 2006 European Film Prize - Won Best Documentary //


2005 Venice International Film Festival // 2005 Toronto International Film Festival // 2006 Sundance Film Festival // 2006 International Film Festival Rotterdam //