Episod 161: The Revenant

12 May

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In this episode, Tyler and Robert discuss Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant and Sean Penn’s The Crossing Guard.

EPISODE BREAKDOWN
00:00:44- Intro, Civil War review, Out Now appearance
00:08:50- The Revenant
01:40:45- The Crossing Guard
02:20:00- Episode wrap-up

2 Responses to “Episod 161: The Revenant”

  1. Sean Hatfield May 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

    I was excited to see an episode about The Revenant this week, and I really enjoyed the conversation. This was my favorite film from 2015, even though I agree with you guys that the ending was a bit of a cop out.
    After watching the World Unseen documentary and hearing some of DiCaprio’s comments about the environment, the ending began to make more sense to me. Along with telling a tale of revenge and survival, I think the film is also making a statement about the importance of protecting the environment and indigenous peoples from culturalization and ecocide.
    Throughout the film, we see the usual disparity between the Native American and European/American cultures, in which the Native Americans have a communal relationship with the environment and the things living in it, embracing a pantheistic theology of God, while the white cultures use and exploit the environment for their benefit and economy. Glass is the exception to this, having lived with, raised a family in, and accepted the ways of a Native American tribe.
    With that idea of pantheism in mind, the murder of Fitzgerald by the Native Americans at the end makes sense. It’s as if the film is embracing the idea that nature–in which the Native Americans are a part or at least the protectors of–is divine, and Fitzgerald and those like him—representatives of European/American greed and those who exploit the land for profit—deserve to be judged for their desolation of the environment and the murder of indigenous peoples. At the end, Glass is surrendering his will to God (nature) and allowing righteous judgment to take place. Since his life has mostly been lived in accordance with their standpoint, he is shown grace and is allowed to live.
    I don’t believe Iñárritu is a pantheist or anything, but I definitely think his sympathies are with the Native Americans and the environment in this film, which may have caused him to sacrifice a satisfying ending for one that speaks to a weightier, real world issue.
    I could, of course, be totally wrong. Either way, I just wanted to start a conversation, say I loved the episode and appreciate all you do Tyler. I look forward to this and BP every week.

    God bless.

  2. Robert May 23, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

    Thanks for the thoughtful take, Sean. There’s no way you’re “wrong” any more than someone else’s interpretation is right or wrong. Film watching will always be subjective. But I think your take is “more right” given all the things you point out about DiCaprio’s political/personal beliefs. I think it’s funny how we’re a Christian podcast but we’re all but crying out for blood revenge at the end – when we get the more passive “let them do God’s justice” ending, we’re let down. I can only speak for myself, but I’ll admit I sometimes get a bit Old Testament.

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