Without regard to one's position on the still smoldering cinder that is Liberation Theology, one must admit that confronting Jesus Christ, wherever it occurs, is transformational. Christianity creates dissonance because its belief system is devoid of middle ground. Christ corroborated this: , "I will spit the lukewarm out of my mouth." (Revelations, 3:16.) The middle ground is Christianity's dead zone, the real abyss from which all should flee. With this in mind, I reflect on "The Apostle."
The film drives a telescopic lens into the touchpoint between a man and his quest to know God. It is no small wonder classic Pentecostals are gaining adherents in Latin America. Aspects of Latin culture connect with the unbridled expressiveness --the verbal release, if you will-- at the core of the Pentecostal Experience. Liberation theology seeks this expressiveness--but, through acts of service to others. In the Apostle E.F.s world--which is a Pentecostal galaxy -- liberation is expressed through acts of service to God. Simply stated, this means saving souls. Robert Duvall-- a gift to those who love cinema-- directs Miranda Richardson, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Bob Thornton and, of course, himself, to muted, flawless performances. This films digs into the paradoxical threads of Christianity-- the quest for knowing, the desire for meaning and the uneven balancing of time versus eternity. "The Apostle" is filled with characters yearning to avoid the abyss. In this film no one takes the middle ground because they see it for what is is, as a transparent fallacy. The universe does not balance all things.