Josh Gibbs demurs on my endorsement of Tree of Life:
“I found much to like in The Tree of Life, but a few things stick in my craw. First and foremost the fact that Zbigniew Preisner’s “Lacrimosa” plays over images of the cosmos beginning. What is a song from a requiem doing when the outpouring of Triune love generates all of creation? Are creation and the Fall the same event? The comfort which Malick’s God seems to offer the O’Briens is that suffering and loss are woven into the blessed creation week, although we’re left to wonder, given that the creation is an outpouring of the Almighty, if suffering and loss are inherent within God. The suffering of the O’Briens might then be seen as a reunion with the uncreated suffering of God. The suffering of Christ is not necessary for consolation, merely a recognition that they’re at home within an eternally suffering universe- accurately mirroring the whole creation.
“While the film has a few nods to Job, the response of God in The Tree of Life is firmly planted in God’s first speech to Job. Nothing of God’s second speech makes it into the film. However, in the book of Job, neither God nor Job seem satisfied to set the consolation of the suffering solely upon the sublime mystery of creation. God presses on to describe His power over death and Satan, to show that they are the playthings of His angels.”
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 4:17 am
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