Discussing
Terrence Malick’s ‘Tree of Life’ and the tragedy of original sin

Josh Larsen

Jcarpenter
June 6, 2011

As a kid, witnessing via television, the Civil Rights struggles; the events of JFK's/RFK's/MLK's assassinations; as a teen, the Vietnam war, the Kent State shootings, Watergate . . . . these experiences evidenced a broken world.  As a kid in grade school and jr. high, witnessing/being part of another's shame and humiliation, and the feeling of personal guilt for allowing/partaking in the event, evidenced my own brokenness.<br>Haven't seen this film yet, but I am intrigued by the topic and setting.

Maureen
June 6, 2011

Terrific post. I really didn't make the original sin connection as strongly as you did and appreciate the insight. I  walked away from "Tree of Life" pondering the verse in Matthew that says God sees and cares about every sparrow that falls and reconciling that with God's answer to Job's "Why pain? Why me?" questions in the beginning of the movie. <br><br>"The Tree of Life" dealt with really profound ideas in a really profound way. It was too personal to call it pretentious, but it was a bit overwhelming for me. I posted my take at Sinema7 "Why 'The Tree Of Life' is a film but should have been a movie."<br><br><a href="http://sinema7.net/2011/06/why-the-tree-of-life-is-a-film-but-should-have-been-a-movie/" rel="nofollow">http://sinema7.net/2011/06/why...</a>

Maureen
June 7, 2011

Terrific post. I really didn't make the original sin connection as strongly as you did and appreciate the insight. I  walked away from "Tree of Life" pondering the verse in Matthew that says God sees and cares about every sparrow that falls and reconciling that with God's answer to Job's "Why pain? Why me?" questions in the beginning of the movie. "The Tree of Life" dealt with really profound ideas in a really profound way. It was too personal to call it pretentious, but it was a bit overwhelming for me. I posted my take at Sinema7 "Why 'The Tree Of Life' is a film but should have been a movie."<a href="http://sinema7.net/2011/06/why" rel="nofollow">http://sinema7.net/2011/06/why</a>...

Jakenoble
July 17, 2011

Possibly this is just me but there seems a rather obvious Christian metaphor in the film which no one is mentioning.<br><br>That is:<br><br>Brad Pitt is God ("call me father") who has given us a nature that helps our survival but can lead us away from the path of love.<br><br>The mother is the Virgin Mary. Only love, tolerant forgiving, way of grace etc.<br><br>The brother is Jesus, refuses to judge or create conflict, forgives his brother and is finally sacrificed. I thought noticeably it was the incident of the BB Gun and Jack's seeking forgivness form his brother that seemed to redeem him.<br><br>Interested if anyone else thinks the same!<br><br>Jake<br><br>

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
July 17, 2011

Thanks for sharing Jake. I love that all three of us have found something completely different - though equally intriguing - to pull out of The Tree of Life. That's the hallmark of a great movie in my book.

Rick
January 5, 2012

I loved this movie, and not because my younger cousin (Laramie Eppler, the one Jessica is holding in the top picture,) was in the film. My family has all seen it more than they can count on their hands, and none of them understand it yet. After being unable to view it until about a month and a half after its LA and NY release date, I was dumbfounded and awestruck at the intensity and profound message of the film that Malick said he had been working on writing for over 30 years. Although many complain that the childhood sequences take too long, they're all necessary to show just how broken the main character is and how far and deep the power of sin spreads, and how it constantly struggles and tries to overcome good.

Wweber
January 17, 2012

Josh, Your personal story illuminates your love of this film. Other films have brought up memories for me. Thanks so much for sharing.

Add your comment to join the discussion!