Brimstone: a movie about helplessness

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https://nofilmschool.com/2017/03/brimstone-mark-koolhoven-interview

Brimstone is a movie from 2016, its genre is a western thriller. Even if the combination sounds weird, it’s one of the most horrifying movies I’ve ever seen. This article will have spoilers, as I’ll discuss and interpret the movie.

Chapter 1: Revelation

Probably the weirdest thing about the movie is that it unfolds backward. The first part of the movie is actually the (almost) last one. Here we have a glimpse of Elizabeth’s life, who can’t speak and has a family. She was a midwife, a respectable one, but as soon as a new pastor comes in town, everything changes and her life is ruined. This movie has a lot of biblical influences. In the Bible, revelation means “an apocalyptic prophecy and “apocalypse” means the revealing of divine mysteries”. You’ll understand if you came here after watching the movie.

Chapter 2: Exodus

Exodus means moving from a place to another. In this chapter, we see how Elizabeth got in trouble from the first chapter. Her real name is Joanna, and she was found after running away from home and sold to a prostitute house. So we see the past and how she got her name Elizabeth and how she survived. The pastor, somehow, is following her in this place too.

Chapter 3: Genesis

As you may know, genesis means the beginning of something. Here we see young Joanna with her parents and her father who is the pastor that followed her whole life. We learn that her mother refused to “fulfill her duties“, so the man is giving Joanna this responsibility. This is why she ran away and got to that house, and eventually, to her own family.

After these scenes, we have the ending, with a quote that’s also in the beginning, and stuck with me: “As life progresses, images blur. All that remains are memories. Some of them true, some of them false.”

This movie is not for everyone. It is seen as vulgar and hard to swallow, but it captures perfectly the image of the women in the past.

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