In March 1996, seven French Trappist monks were kidnapped from their monastery in Algeria. Two months later their bodies were found… beheaded. Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux) deals with the period leading up to their kidnapping. The monks get along well with the local Muslim community because they don’t proselytize and they do try to help the people, particularly the eldest monk, who is a doctor. But when Islamist terrorists begin killing foreigners in the area, beginning with a Croatian construction crew, the monks are forced to decide whether to risk death by staying and continuing to help the villagers who depend on them or whether God would prefer them to play it safe by fleeing and doing His work elsewhere. The true story of the Monks of Tibhirine is well-known in France, but the circumstances of their deaths, which is not dealt with in Of Gods and Men, remains controversial. One theory is that they were not killed by the kidnappers, but by the Algerian army during a failed raid. Another popular theory is that the Algerian government set up the whole affair to scare the French government into supporting the corrupt Algerian authorities as a bulwark against terrorism.