First ReformedDVD - 2018
From Library Staff
Ethan Hawke delivers one of his best performances as Ernst Toller, a reverend whose moral values are tested when he begins to counsel an extreme environmental activist. The cinematography lends the film a bleak and effective simplicity.
From the critics
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When writing about oneself, one should show no mercy.
Are you sure you don't want to go to Abundant Life? They have a whole team of counselors over there, who are trained and...
-I know, but he doesn't want to. He thinks it's more of a company than a church.
You know, a child that's so full of hope and naive beliefs, into a world where that little girl, uh... She grows up to be a young woman and she looks you in the eyes and she says that you knew this all along, didn't you? You see, that... I mean, what? What are you supposed to say then? There's something growing inside Mary. Something as alive as a tree, surely. As an endangered species. Something full of the beauty and mystery of nature.
I can promise you that whatever despair you feel about bringing a child
into this world cannot equal the despair of taking a child from it.
Can God forgive us? For what we've, uh, done to this world?
-I don't know. Who can know the mind of God? But we can choose a righteous life. Belief... Forgiveness... Grace covers us all. I believe that.
What do they like to call it, over where you are? The, uh...
-The museum. ... The souvenir shop. They call it the souvenir shop.
You believe in martyrdom, Reverend?
-I'm not sure I know what you mean.
You know, the Saints of God, the early Christians who wouldn't renounce their faith? The missionaries who were attacked in the fields of the Lord.
Do you believe that they died for a purpose? I do. Well, every week, activists are killed trying to protect the environment. A hundred-and-seventeen were killed last year for their beliefs. All right, right there.
Uh, this is Jos Claudio, Ribeiro da Silva.
And that's his wife, Maria. They were gunned down in 2011 in the Amazon.
You know, they were protesting free cutting of the rain forest
Look, people have, throughout history, have woken up in the dead of the night, confronted by blackness. The sense that our lives are without meaning. The Sickness Unto Death.
Man's great achievements have brought him to the place where life as we know it may cease in the foreseeable future. ...
-If humankind can't overcome its immediate interests enough to ensure its own survival, then you're right. The only rational response is despair.
But do you think that, that... That there's any existence apart from this? This here, right now?
- Uh, yes.
- Before us. After us.
Maybe I shouldn't care about whether people like me. Did Jesus worry
about being liked?
And right in front of us. I mean, one third of the natural world has been destroyed in your lifetime. You know, the earth's temperature will be three degrees centigrade higher. Four is the threshold. You know? "Severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts."
By 2050, sea levels two feet higher on the East Coast. Low lying areas underwater across the world. Bangladesh, 20% loss of landmass. Central Africa, 50% reduction in crops due to drought. The Western reservoirs dried up. Climate change refugees. Epidemics. Extreme weather.
You know, this social structure can't bear the stress of multiple crises. Opportunistic diseases, anarchy, martial law, the tipping point. And this isn't in some, like, distant future. You will live to see this. You know, my children will experience this unliveability.
Did you hear the one about the Choir Mistress and the Minister?
She chased him around the church and caught him by the organ.
Did you hear the one about
the Choir Mistress
and the Minister?
She chased him
around the church
and caught him by the organ.
So, how are you?
-Oh, I'm fine.
No, really. I mean, it's been a while since we've talked. And you know, even a pastor needs a pastor.
"But your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, and prophets and saints, and for those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the Earth." Revelations 11:18.
And I cannot bear your concern, your constant hovering. Your neediness.
You, you're a constant reminder of my own personal inadequacies and failings. You want something that never was and never will be.
You see, there used to be a pew over this. And they would move it, and
then they would lift this up. Can you do it? Help me. Yes! Oh! Come around everybody. Slaves would hide in here. Sometimes whole families. Be really careful. All right. Can you imagine that? In the dark. The air hot, shaking with fear. The sound of the slave hunter's horses outside. On their knees,
holding each other's hands, praying for God to save them?
Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world.
And what of His creation? The Heavens declare the glory of God. God is present everywhere, in every plant, every river, every tiny insect. The whole world is a manifestation of His Holy presence. I think this is an issue
where... Where the church can lead. But... But they say nothing.
The U.S. Congress still denies climate change? Where were we when
these people were elected? The, the, the... We know who spoke for big business. Right? But who spoke for God?
-"The creation waits in eager expectation "of liberation from bondage." That's Romans 8:23. You understand?
So, we should pollute so God can restore? We should sin so God can forgive? I don't think that's what the Apostle meant.
-I think we're supposed to look with the eyes of Jesus into every living... You don't live in the real world. You don't. You, you are a minister at a tourist church that no one attends.
Thomas Merton. He didn't live in the real world either!
- Yes, he did! He would...
No. He was a monk who lived in a monastery in Kentucky and wrote books!
-Well, somebody has to do something! It's the Earth that hangs in the balance.
Well what if this is His plan? What if we just can't see it?
-You think God wants to destroy his creation?
He did once. For 40 days and 40 nights.
Courage is the solution to despair, reason provides no answers. I can't know what the future will bring, We have to choose despite uncertainty. Wisdom is holding two contradictory truths in our mind, simultaneously, Hope and despair. A life without despair is a life without hope. Holding these two ideas in our head is life itself.
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