First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017): USA | UK | Australia

Review by Nicholas DeBruno. Viewed at the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The following text has been recovered from reverend Toller’s personal journal after he was involved in a fatal accident involving barbed wire and drain cleaner. This gives incite in to his way of thinking at the time of his death.

God I have been thinking about what Michael said to me before he made the choice to end his life. He said, “Will God forgive us for what we are doing to his creation”, and my question to you is will you? It’s written in Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;”, but if this is true and you have complete and total dominion over everything how can good men like Ed Balq justify the utter destruction and pollution of your creation? At lunch with him and Cedric today I seemed to be detested for showing even a little bit of belief in the importance of earths conservation. In Numbers 35:33 it says, “Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land,and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.”, this combined with a 97% scientific consensus that humans are destroying the earths environment that they need to live seems to suggest your disgust at the way we have treated your creation. Me, being a reverend, tries to warn against vegetative treatment of the world, but I in turn get slandered for mixing politics and religion. How can you have religion without politics, religion in its essence is a political belief. Is climate change even a political argument? There is irrefutable scientific and religious evidence that what we are doing is wrong. My final question to you God is, Will you forgive us for what we have done? I know that with this writing I will find no answers but I pray that you could provide some solace from your creation broken by man.

Reverend Toller death brought attention to his secret ideology and has served as a theological base for a new wave of reformed christian followers who have dedicated their spiritual lives to reversing the environmental damage that our ancestors have thrown upon us.

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