The Island (Sundance Film Review)

Posted by Tim Posada On 4:50 PM
The Island is a telling story about the pain of a saint. The story begins with a young crewmember who is forced to shoot his captain after they are captured by Nazis. The boat is then blown up and the young man is washed ashore near a monastery, where he would spend the rest of his life. The story then takes place when he is much older. People constantly visit him to receive healing. While he is a bit senile and eccentric, he heals everyone who comes to him and tells them what they need to hear. When he is not healing people or moving coal, he spends his time praying for forgiveness.
This is the story of a saint. Many ask questions about why certain people are blessed with such gifts while others are not, and this film does not bother to answer that but reveals the paradox. Many consider this monk crazy, but God chose him to be a healer, prophet, and servant. But for all his transcendent power, he has no peace. He is given this amazing gift, but his religion is so dogmatic that he can only obey and hope that God will see his redemption through his servant hood and grief. Yet there is hope in this film. Could someone evil truly do what God allows this man to do? The point comes through the implications of the story: God exists in people whether they realize he is there or not. This has profound implications for the rest of the world beyond the label “Christians.” I wonder if anyone will agree.

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