The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

Thursday, November 3, 2011 – 7:30 pm

Golden Cinema

Tickets: Cash at the door
Non-Member $12; Adult Member $10; Student $5. Includes HST

“Terrence Malick’s mad and magnificent film descends slowly, like some sort of prototypical spaceship.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian 

From Terrence Malick, the acclaimed director of such classic films as Badlands, Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950’s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick’s signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.


Perhaps the closest that cinema has ever come to providing audiences with a glimpse into the human soul, this existential epic intertwines a narrative about love and loss with an imagistic meditation on a life’s context amidst all of existence. This visual elegy by Oscar-‐nominated director Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, Days of Heaven) was the recipient of the Palme d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

In the central story, a family unexpectedly loses one of their three sons. This tragedy introduces a fragmented, non-‐linear narrative that is governed by memory, imagination and emotion. The film focuses primarily on the formative years of the three brothers as they grow up in the idyl-‐ lic suburbs of 1950’s Texas. The contrast between their oppressive father (Brad Pitt, Inglorious Basterds, The Curious Case of Benjamin But-‐ ton) and uplifting mother (Jessica Chastain, The Debt) is crystallized in the eldest son, Jack (new-‐ comer Hunter McCracken), who wrestles with their conflicting influences and the loss of his younger brother into his adulthood. In glimpses of present day, which are set against the cold sterility of the modern urban landscape, it is clear that middle-‐ aged Jack (Sean Penn, Milk, Mystic River) is still haunted by the scars of his youth.

The film oscillates between the story of the family’s tragedy and a series of transcendent images ranging from prehistoric to cosmic which give metaphoric scope and dimension to the their pain. Visually exploring creation, destruction and all forms of life spanning from genesis to the birth of a child, the omniscient camera journey’s across the earth, under the sea and into the celestial bodies of the heavens creating a visual poem that contemplates the nature of time, space and spirituality.

Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn. Jessica Chastain Run Time: 138 minutes Country: USA

Year: 2011 Language: English Distributor: eOne Films Distributor Estimates Availability As: Current Video: N/A

Ratings: ON PG / BC G / AB PG / SK G / MB NR / PQ NR / Maritimes NR

Golden Panorama

Kicking Horse Culture • 250 344-6186 • Box 228, Golden BC V0A 1A0 • Located at 516 9th Ave. N in Golden, British Columbia