Seeing as God Sees

Reassessing Malick's 'The Tree of Life'

"Against the background of my own instinctive wariness about supposing you can get a hold on everything at once, it was fascinating to watch Terrence Malick’s 2011 film The Tree of Life. It is an extraordinary film—too long, perhaps, but beautiful, baffling, strangely compelling. And one way of understanding it is as an attempt to present a vision of, precisely, everything." So writes Karen Kilby in her piece on the compelling and elusive film -- ideas that are echoed in contributions from Luke Timothy Johnson and Bernard G. Prusak. Follows the links below to read all of the essays in our special feature on The Tree of Life.

(Funding for these essays was provided by a Grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.)

'How All Things Fit Together'

One way of understanding Malick's film is as an attempt to present a vision of, precisely, everything.

'The Use of Cinema to Do Theology'

There is no mistaking Malick’s theological intentions, nor for that matter the academic credentials he possesses to make such an effort.

What Is He Up To?

Our problems with 'The Tree of Life' are likewise problems with Malick’s peculiar cinematic language.
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