God, The Afterlife, and Movies Essay
God, The Afterlife, and Movies
What images of the afterlife do you draw from Flatliners, City of Angels, The Devil Wears Prada, and In Bruges? How do they compare? Is God even present? Is the afterlife presented a good place or bad one (i.e. what is the tone)? Is it fair that the characters find themselves in these places? Be as creative as you like with your answers.
At least one CLEAR example from each film
At least two CLEAR references to assigned readings
God, The Afterlife, and Movies
According to (Bergesen and Greeley) suggests that authors of contemporary religious imagination in films, these imaginations are uncontrollable. He suggests that there is portrayal of God’s presence, and the afterlife is present in most of the movies around the world. This paper transcends a comparison on how the four movies Flatliners, City of Angels, The Devil Wears Prada and Bruges, portray the how afterlife looks like and if people in these movies believe in the presence of God.
First, movies have a unique way of portraying the afterlife; some present it as a good place and others present it as a bad place. In the Movie Flatliners, it provides propositions of a comprehensive examination of death and afterlife within religious backgrounds. The movie outlines feature of how one survives personhood after death, near-death experiences and portrayal of how heaven and hell look like (Schumacher). Evidently, in this film, characters take away their lives and try to come back to life so as they gain awareness of how the afterlife is like. The usage of profound and dark music and tones of a red advocate for hell (Schumacher). Additionally, the presence of electric blue and darkness suggest the presence of purgatory in the afterlife. Characters in the movie do not accomplish what they need, rather, they are reminded what they need to resolve in the normal life (Schumacher).
On the other hand, City of Angels depicts that, in the afterlife, there are angels who help humans pass through the junction between life and death. This is evident where, Seth, an angel, becomes charmed with doctor Maggie’s overwhelming emotion over a relative outsider (Silberling). The movie shows that there is an entry to the afterlife by passing through a lively, white light. Also, in the film, integrates fashion with the afterlife, as the title suggests, the evil does wear designer clothes; it reveals that there are afterlife and fashion still exists in the afterlife. The movie does not depict God, case in point; Andy is referred to as a goddess because of her excellence in fashion (Frankel). Lastly, in the film. Bruges, the afterlife is brought up many times where Ray is intrigued by the idea of the afterlife when he talks about his hopes not to die. Additionally, at the end of the movie Ray carried onto an ambulance and the nurses take off the mask from Ray, after which the camera cuts off. It is interpreted that Ray had no need of oxygen mask because he was either dead or breathing (McDonagh). Suspense is present here, and it symbolizes afterlife in the movie.
Secondly, (Greeley 2) explains that movies depict the presence of God. In comparison to the four movies, it is evident that in the movie City of Angels, the angels symbolize the presence of God. Additionally, through the movie, God is mentioned many times and the movies illustrates that when one dies, he or she goes to Heaven (Silberling). Also, In the movie Fastliners, it unfolds into a tenacity and basic understanding the divine nature of God. Dave Labraccio’s death experience signifies divinity, as he says that he felt something divine guiding him on his voyage to the afterlife (Schumacher). Also, while characters did not die after an encounter with the divine presence of God, they seemed to be totally wrong about their lives. In the movies, The Devil Wears Prada and Burges, there is a minimal depiction of the presence of God.
Conclusively, an argument about the fairness of characters finding themselves either in heaven or hell
is justified in that as the movies depict how the afterlife is like several characters want to know how the other
sides look like finding themselves in the afterlife is a lesson on how they
should control their normal life. Recently, movies have been used to advocate
presence of God and the afterlife, therefore as viewers,
we learn more about other religion’s practices and beliefs through these movies.
Bergesen, Albert J and Andrew M. Greeley. God in the Movies. Piscataway: ransaction Publishers, 2003.
City of Angels. Dir. Brad Silberling. Perf. Nicolas Cage, et al. 1998.
Flatliners. Dir. Joel Schumacher. Perf. Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon and Julia Robert. 1990.
Greeley, Andrew M. “Images of God in the Movies.” Journal of Religion and Film 1.1 (1997): 2.
In Bruges. Dir. Martin McDonagh. Perf. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. 2008.
The Devil Wears Prada. Dir. David Frankel. Perf. Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep. 2006.