"Show me how to see things the way you do" : existentialism in faith, philosophy, and film
Benjamin P. Spencer
May 10, 2010
Department or Program
Walter E. Wyman
In this cross-disciplinary thesis, I use Paul Tillich’s theological concept, "Absolute Faith," and Albert Camu’s philosophical notion of "the absurd" to uncover the Existential dimensions of the 1998 film The Thin Red Line, written and directed by Terrence Malick. The film explores the lives of several soldiers involved in the Battle of Guadalcanal, and I argue that Malick uses the context of World War II as a larger metaphor for the existential conflict that faces human beings. By employing the theology of Tillich and the philosophy of Camus, I investigate the overarching existential themes of Malick’s film, and conclude that The Thin Red Line provides its audience with a different perspective, and a subsequent vocabulary with which to navigate meaningfully the inherently tragic terms of human existence.