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Men of God and a movie

24 March, 2017 — By John Gulliver

Philippe Laudenbach, Olivier Rabourdin, Lambert Wilson, Xavier Maly, Loïc Pichon, Jacques Herlin and Jean-Marie Frin in Of Gods and Men, directed by Xavier Beauvois, 2010. Picture: Sony Pictures Classics

THE fresh-faced Revd Canon William Gulliford seems to pop up everywhere.

The other evening I met him on a 274 bus on his way to a function at Lambeth Palace.

The next day I talked to the minister of St Mark’s Church in Primrose Hill in his other capacity – as a film buff.

It turns out he seemed the obvious choice to former BBC producer Colin Ludlow to introduce one of the most poignant films with a religious setting, Of Gods and Men, at a showing at Primrose Hill Library on April 4.

The Revd Canon William Gulliford

The theme is the Algerian Civil War of the 1990s and the assassination of seven monks – were they killed by fundamentalists or mistakenly by the army? A mystery hangs over the film which, says Revd Gullifiord, is one of the best he has seen.

It tells of a peaceful situation between local Christians and Muslims which became a lethal one, sucked into the conflict.

Though he was busy preparing for a couple who were due to see him about their wedding arrangements he was soon drawn back into the story of the film – did the monks choose the path of martrydom as in TS Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral?

Oddly enough, the thought of becoming a monk may have crossed Mr Gulliford’s mind when he was 20 but he decided that he wanted to get married. Today he remains fresh-faced with four children.


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