At The Movies: Death As A Part Of Life

Scott Woller

In This Series We Are Using Movie Clips As Jumping Off Points To Dialogue

What do the top ten movie themes tell us about community, culture, faith and church?


Death as a Part of Life

As one of the most emotional and thought-provoking issues of life, death is an eternal theme in films. The inevitability of death, the mystery that surrounds it, and the implications that it brings make death one of the most interesting motifs of all. Some films incorporate it into the narrative of the story and thus the theme of death emerges. Harold and Maud, for example, is the story of a boy that is obsessed with death and dying. However, many other films focus on impending death, exploring issues of grief and loss (Steel Magnolias, Pay it Forward). Often, films that incorporate the theme of death as a part of life explore the after world (What Dreams May Come, The Lovely Bones). While these films portray death and dying, the theme truly resonates when the characters discover that life continues even after the physical body is no more.