Spirit(uality) in the Films of Terrence Malick

  • Author(s): Christopher B. Barnett
  • When: 2013-04
  • Where: Journal of Religion & Film
  • This paper will argue that Terrence Malick is a theological filmmaker, even though scholars have preferred to emphasize his indebtedness to Martin Heidegger. It will proceed by way of Malick's use of wind imagery. First, it will show that the wind motif recalls theological notions about God as spirit. Second, it will illustrate how Malick employs wind imagery, revealing a sensitivity to the wind's evocation of God's presence and absence. Third, it will argue that Malick's cinematic restraint identifies the practice of detachment [Gelassenheit] as the link between his theological and Heideggerian interests.

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