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Double Feature: 'First Reformed' and 'The Tree of Life' aptly discuss faith



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Welcome to back to Double Feature, the IDS film podcast where the powers that be let us in a podcast booth to give you hot takes and maybe some lukewarm ones too.

Generally speaking, faith-based films usually suck. More often than not, they tend to be pandering, flat and completely derivative. Filmmakers rarely have the courage to tackle the nuances of spirituality or look at the uglier sides of what it means to live a religious life. 

On this week's episode of Double Feature, hosts Annie Aguiar and Chris Forrester discuss two films that do: 2011's "The Tree of Life" and 2017's "First Reformed."

"The Tree of Life," directed by Terrence Malick, stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain in an epic comparing a man's memory of growing up in 1950s Texas with the origins of the universe and life on Earth. 

"First Reformed," directed by Paul Schrader, follows the Reverend Ernst Toller — played by Ethan Hawke in a performance many say deserved an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor — as he wrestles with questions of faith and forgiveness after encountering a radical environmentalist. 

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