The Garden of Allah

Synopsis: Domini, an heiress who has led a cloistered life, visits the North African desert for spiritual renewal. There she meets Boris, recently escaped from a Trappist monastery. Their friendship ripens into love, but he conceals his past from her. Then in a remote oasis, they meet a man who knows his secret.
Director(s): Richard Boleslawski
Production: United Artists
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
79 min

Who is that down there in the hall, Sister?

Why, that's Domini Enfilden.

- Was she ever here?

- Yes, she was just like you.

She couldn't ever

do her sums correctly, either.


Why, Domini Enfilden!

How wonderful to see you again.

And you, Mother Josephine.

It's like coming home.

She doesn't look very happy.

- Is she married?

- No, she isn't married.

- Is that why she isn't happy?

- No, my dear.

You see, she devoted her life

to looking after her invalid father...

whom she loved very dearly.

But why would that make her sad, Sister?

He suffered greatly for years.

She gave up everything for him.

And a few months ago he died, mercifully.

Isn't she beautiful?

- Is she rich?

- Yes, and very kind.

You don't catch me being kind to anyone.

I want somebody to be kind to me.

Now, that's enough.

Come right away from that window.

Close the window, children.

You remember, Domini,

this is your old room.

Your old room, Domini.

I'm so delighted to see you again,

I didn't notice.

You're not happy, my child.

Perhaps the only time I ever was happy

was here.

But surely after your father's death

you were free to enjoy the world?

The world? Yes, I traveled:

Paris, Vienna, the Riviera.

But in the midst of people,

I was always lonely. Desperately lonely.

I don't understand that.

You always had such a longing for life,

even as a child.

Do you remember, you once asked me:

"Mother, is it wrong

to want someone to marry me?

"Is it wrong to want to be loved?"

Yes, I remember.

And you showed me a picture.

The Marriage at Cana.

I remember you said,

"He was at the wedding, and he blessed it."

Yes, Domini.

What am I to do, Mother Josephine?

I come to you

as I did when I was a little girl.

Do? Life is filled

with interesting things to do.

You must go out and find them.

But how, Mother. Where?

Why not leave

the cities you have found so lonely...

and try something different?

Perhaps the desert, for a time.

The desert, Mother? What will I find there?

There, in the solitudes,

you may find yourself.

In the face of the infinite,

your grief will vanish...

and you will realize that life is larger...

fuller than you dream.

I've been here for one whole month, Father.

Forgive me, I still cannot understand

how men can find peace here...

walled in, cut off forever from the world.

You are a soldier of France, my son.

We are soldiers of God.

One must have the call for either duty.

Today I go away, Father,

to rejoin my company.

You have never asked me why I came here.

You asked for shelter here.

We've tried to make you comfortable.

You have, Father.

But I don't want you to think

I came here out of idle curiosity.

You see, my mother had always wanted me

to enter the service of the church.

Last year, she died

while I was on patrol deep in the desert.

It seemed fitting, somehow,

I should come here...

-if only for a little while.

- I understand, my son.

You must take this with you as a small token

of our pleasure in your visit here.

- For me?

- Yes.

A bottle of the liqueur we make

at this monastery. We are very proud of it.

You have reason to be.

I have tasted it. It is superb.

I'll call Brother Antoine.

The making of the liqueur is in his charge.

Your praise will make him happy.

Brother Gregory,

call Brother Antoine from his work.

I always feel a little strange talking to you,

while these men must keep silent.

They have chosen their silence,

Monsieur de Trevignac.

They are happy in it.

Speak. What is it?

I release you from your vow of silence.

Brother Antoine has fled.

He has gone out into the world.

He has broken his vows.

Do not condemn him. Pity him.

Whatever has caused him

to take this awful step...

only agony and remorse can follow it.

Let us never forget

that for those who are weary...

for those who have lost the way...

there alone is peace.

Madame is going to the Sahara?

The desert is the garden of oblivion.

In the desert one forgets everything...

even the heart one loves,

and the desire of one's own soul.

- You're a poet.

- How quickly madame understands me.

Yes, madame, sometimes I am dizzy

with the beauty of my own thoughts.

Perhaps the sun

has something to do with it.

This sun is nothing.

Wait till you get beyond the mountains...

and through the gates of the Sahara.

There the sun blazes.

Let it blaze.

May I be of service, madame?

- Are those madame's bags?

- Yes.

- I'll help you with them.

- I thought you were a poet.

Madame, I'm not only a poet.

I'm also a guide.

- Porter.

- Never mind, madame. I'm also a porter.

My name is Batouch.

Yes, madame.

It will be an inspiration to serve madame.

Madame is like the new young moon

coming up over the mimosas.

Madame is like a lovely lotus

that blooms in--

My bags, Batouch.

Madame's bags are very chic. Hadj!

Madame, this is my cousin, Hadj.

He can't speak English.

He hasn't been to Europe

as I have, madame.

He doesn't know north from south,

he gets lost in broad daylight.

And furthermore, madame, he's a swine.

This is not mine.

What an extraordinary man. Is he mad?

Yes. He's undoubtedly English.

- Madame, welcome to Beni Mora.

- Thank you, Father.

And greetings from Mother Josephine.

She said I should write her

exactly how you are.

She demanded that I do the same thing

about you.

My companion, Bous-Bous.

He, too, has his faith.

But, alas, it's only in me.

- I'm sure his trust is not misplaced, Father.

- Thank you, child.

My church is small, but it's always open.

And you wouldn't exchange it

for a great cathedral, would you?

I'm afraid I wouldn't.

Now you need rest after your journey.

Your hotel is yonder.

Batouch, take good care of madame.

That song, what does it say?

It is the song of the freed slaves, madame:

"No one but God and I

knows what is in my heart."

No one but God and I...

knows what is in my heart.

What is he afraid of?

Irena, the dancing girl.

The most terrible girl in all of the Sahara.

- She wants to kill Hadj.

- Why?

She loves him.

This way, madame.

I didn't know that Hadj could laugh.

Whatever did you say to him?

I told him Irena was not dancing tonight.

- But you told me she was.

- And so she is.

She wants money, madame.

Why doesn't he give it to her?

- He doesn't understand. Go and tell him.

- Yes, madame.

Thank you for helping me.

- Good night.

- Good night.

I can look after myself now.

- I'll go with you, madame.

- I'm not afraid.

I'll go with you.

But if I prefer to be alone?

Then I'll follow you, madame.

Come with me, then.

She loves him, so she tried to kill him.

It doesn't seem reasonable, does it?

I know nothing of such things.

Women are hard to fathom.

Some men, also.

Salaam, madame.

The life of madame is in the sand.

I see. I see it clearly.

I know the past.

I read the future. The future of madame.

The life of monsieur, I begin to see.

Shall we hear what he has to say?


Thank you.

I'm Domini Enfilden.

My name is Boris. Boris Androvsky.

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W.P. Lipscomb

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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