Thy Kingdom Come
A fascinating hybrid of documentary and fiction, “Thy Kingdom Come” is a unique and deeply personal rendering of life in small-town Oklahoma. Acclaimed photographer Eugene Richards was asked by Terrence Malick to shoot interviews with residents of Bartlesville, Okla., for potential use in “To the Wonder.” Snippets of the material were eventually used in Malick’s film, but Richards was also allowed to shape the footage into this stand-alone work. Javier Bardem, who plays a priest struggling with his faith in “To the Wonder,” serves as the “interviewer” in these encounters: In character as the priest, Bardem engages in conversation with about a dozen real-life folks, who tell stories of their hardscrabble, often tragic lives, opening up to him with raw emotion and unguarded frankness. The people Bardem encounters live on the margins of society: several prisoners, a few fragile seniors in an old-folks home, and a cross section of folks leading hand-to-mouth existences in a trailer court. Unscripted, woven from real-life stories, “Thy Kingdom Come” reveals life to be alternately precious and harsh, wanting and hopeful.
The Rain Will Fall
Though confined to a nursing home, 90-year-old Melvin Wisdahl lives a rich interior life, filled with memories of his ghost town of a home and his love of the ever-evolving and threatened land. This short originally screened at SLIFF in 2016, but director Richards has re-edited the film.