requiem for a dream

This movie, it paints this picture of utter hopelessness. The title of the movie is Requiem for a Dream; a requiem is a song or mass played for the dead. This movie lived out its title. It was a song for the death of dreams. I don’t really know what to say about it, other than that it leaves you feeling like you need to empty your stomach.

As I said before, this movie shows absolute, utter hopelessness. It shows our complete self-indulgence when we are left to our own devices. There is no hope without Christ. I can’t say that there was anything redemptive in the movie, other than that it showed our complete need for a Savior. As Christians, we can develop this self-righteous attitude, be it consciously or subconsciously; we act as though we have no need of a Savior. Oh, we wouldn’t dare voice that attitude, but we live and act that way. We act as though any “good” (being deemed by our society and culture) that we do, or the “good” ways in which we live–that these are all of our own doing. This is not the truth. The truth is, as Christians, Christ is the only redeeming “thing” (piece of our lives) we can claim. Without His saving, we are as utterly lost as those who sing the deaths of their own dreams. I am as utterly lost.

The depravity of sin displayed in this movie is gut-wrenching. It puts up no fronts. It is real and honest. And if we’re actually being honest with ourselves… if I’m being honest with myself… then my self-rightesous behavior is just as depraved as the scenes displayed in this movie that I think I am “above”. Sin is sin is sin. Make no mistake. There is nothing pretty, somewhat acceptable, or “not that bad” about it. Pride over our apparent goodness is just as vile as the woman who sells her body for drugs. There is nothing okay about it. Sin is wretched and completely incurable… without Christ.

This movie is black. It’s bleak. It portrays the plight of the hopeless and lost. As hard as it is to watch, it should break our hearts. Being repulsed by sin is one thing, but having a broken heart for those entrapped and chained to it, is a completely different matter. As Christians, we are called to live in such a way as to show the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15); self-righteous thought patterns and attitudes essentially deny that hope and need for a Savior. And refusing to acknowledge those who are hopeless is arrogant and cruel. We ought to be aching for those who have no hope. Our despair for them should drive us to our knees in prayer.

I think this movie is challenge to recognize that we have a Hope. We have Christ. And we need to live according to that Hope and remember that it is not of our own creation. We must humbly come before those who broken and hurting, and show them that there is hope, but only because of Christ. Because without him we are just as depraved and stained as those who sing the death of their own dreams.

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One thought on “requiem for a dream

  1. Caleb says:

    Well said Rachel. I’ve been struggling with the right way to handle the description of this movie as a Christian – but I think you said it very well. I think the most devastating part of it is to understand the humanity of each of these characters and to really connect with some of the things that they feel or do in the story (e.g. the son’s friend with his relationship with his mom) These things in the movie don’t allow the characters to just be “horrible sinners” but it makes them human and gives them life and allows us to see that we are no different in a lot of ways and we have the same capacity to fall that far into our sin and into those devastating circumstances.

    It was truly heartbreaking.

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