1st Edition

Film and Redemption From Brokenness to Wholeness

By David Rankin Copyright 2023
    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores the representation of the idea or theme of redemption in contemporary, popular film. The discussion focuses primarily on the work of three directors – Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese and Kore-eda Hirokazu – but also considers a few films from other directorial hands. David Rankin divides the notion of personal redemption into transactional and transformational aspects, differentiating between redemption, understood as that which is external to the person but impacting on their being and environment, and that which is internal to the person. Redemption is viewed broadly as a journey from brokenness to wholeness, from imprisonment to release, or from some form of slavery to freedom. Both secular and religious (especially Christian) understandings of the notion are discussed, and consideration is given to how the former might inform the latter.

    1 Introduction

    2 Redemption in Christian Thought

    3 ‘I’m not like that anymore’: Redemption in Clint Eastwood films

    4 ‘Pay up’: Redemption in Martin Scorsese films

    5 ‘Why did my life end up like this?’: Redemption in Kore-eda Hirokazu films

    6 ‘I coulda been somebody’: Redemption in other films (individual directors)

    7 Conclusions


    David Rankin is an ordained minister of the Uniting Church in Australia and has served as both Principal of Trinity College Queensland, Australia, and Head of the School of Theology at Griffith University, Australia. His previous publications include Tertullian and the Church (1995), From Clement to Origen (2006), Athenagoras (2009), The Early Church and the Afterlife (2017) and Film and the Afterlife (2019).