What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, even more so than his previous movies, this drama from legendary and elusive director Terrence Malick is a work of poetic images rather than a cohesive, solid story. The main theme seems to be family relationships, but it all takes place within a huge universal context of infinite time, space, and even dreamscapes. There's the suggestion of simmering violence on the part of the father, but while he often yells, he very rarely lashes out physically. Language is minimal; a flashback sequence contains passing visual references to sexual reproduction. But even though there's not a huge amount of age-inappropriate content for teens, younger viewers are likely to be bored; this movie requires a great deal of patience and the ability to embrace new and unique cinematic encounters.
- Families can talk about the film's underlying violence. Why is the father so angry and frustrated? How does he express it, and why?
- What does the grown son actually learn during his quest? Does the movie have a happy, or hopeful, ending?
- Who do you think this movie is intended to appeal to? What message is it trying to convey to its audience?