Director: Terrence Malick
Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken
139 Min./ USA

”  – the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow. Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries. Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things.” With these words The Tree of Life begins. Just about this quote you can philosophize for hours. The film shows these two paths through the eyes of the 11-year-old Jack.
We see an adult Jack who still struggles with his past. He looks back on his youth. It is very clear the principle above can be found. He remembers his mother who walked the way of grace. She taught him love, forgiveness and joy. His father personifies the way of nature. He tries to prepare his son for the harshness of life. This often came with violence.
The Tree of Life is in many ways a spiritual film, that is obvious. Not only a Job 38:4,7 is quoted. Also the question “why God allows things” is central in the movie. Besides all the themes of the film should definitely be said that the camera work is phenomenal and the choice of music fits beautifully in the film. Is The Tree of Life the rightful winner of the Palme d’or? People will remain divided opinions about that. The fact is that director Terence Malick has given us plenty to think about with The Tree of Life.


By: ~Sieto Kooijker

[youtube id=”XW4cMNue4m8″ width=”600″ height=”350″]