"Nihilistic Thoughts Without God"
What You Need To Know:
Moviegoers will be greatly touched sometimes by this story. Despite Anna’s lawsuit, MY SISTER’S KEEPER contains several positive scenes of family love and togetherness facing tragedy. Regrettably, a nihilistic tone, including one overt nihilistic statement, undercuts the movie’s references to religion and its pro-family message. In the end, MY SISTER’S KEEPER is more depressing than inspiring, and its humanist ending is stifling.
(HH, B, C, AbAb, LL, V, S, N, A, MM) Strong humanist worldview with a nihilistic tone of meaninglessness and a narrated statement (while the song “Amazing Grace” is playing during a funeral) that the death which occurred was ultimately meaningless, mitigated slightly by some positive scenes of strong family love and light references to Heaven and a guardian angel, but these references are not developed into anything truly inspiring or strongly Christian or biblical and are ultimately undercut by the depressing ending; 10 obscenities (including one or two “f” words), five strong profanities and six light profanities, plus very sick child vomits several times, including blood one time; some violence includes a couple intense arguments, implied suicide, attempted suicide with pills, and intense hospital procedures and sickness; implied sex between teenagers (who are shown lying in bed afterwards), passionate kissing between teenagers and microscopic shots of human reproductive objects and in vitro fertilization, plus male teenager hangs around on streets that seem to have prostitutes walking by or standing around, but no pickups are seen; upper male nudity and upper nudity of young girl child in hospital setting; alcohol use; no smoking; and, character says death is meaningless as “Amazing Grace” is played during funeral scene, lying, girl sues her parents for medical emancipation, and terminally ill patient does not want kidney transplant and further treatment for leukemia, but the issue is not fully resolved nor properly discussed in an enlightening, biblical manner.
The title of MY SISTER’S KEEPER sounds like this movie could be an uplifting experience with some biblical, redemptive content. Regrettably, the movie undercuts its own biblical, redemptive moments and ultimately presents a somewhat nihilistic, depressing message.
Narrated by several of the main characters, the story begins with 11-year-old Anna telling viewers how her parents, Sara and Brian Fitzgerald, conceived her in a test tube to save their daughter Kate’s life. Kate’s life depends on Anna, because Kate has leukemia.
Sadly, despite a bone marrow transplant and other medical procedures from Anna, Kate’s leukemia has gone out of remission, and her kidneys are now failing. With help from her brother Jesse, Anna goes to a lawyer to become “medically emancipated” from her parents, because Anna does not want to donate the kidney to Kate.
Anna’s decision causes a furor in the Fitzgerald household. The movie then uses flashbacks to show how the situation got to this point. As it brings viewers up to speed, the story shows what happens in the wake of Anna’s decision to sue her parents.
Moviegoers will be greatly touched sometimes by this story of a desperate family facing a deadly illness. Despite Anna’s lawsuit, MY SISTER’S KEEPER contains many positive scenes of family love and togetherness through tragedy. Regrettably, however, a nihilistic tone, including one overt nihilistic statement, undercuts the movie’s references to death or religion. Eventually, the movie overtly suggests that there is no ultimate meaning to life or death. Worse, it even does this during one scene when the song “Amazing Grace” is played. Furthermore, none of the family members prays to God or Jesus about their situation, despite some oblique references to Heaven and a minor written reference to a “guardian angel” watching over Kate.
MOVIEGUIDE® realizes that not all stories have to have a completely happy ending. In the end, however, MY SISTER’S KEEPER is more depressing than inspiring, and its humanist ending is stifling.
Death comes to us all, but some of us face death much earlier than others. Even when that tragically happens, however, we can look with hope to God. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:56-58, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” That may be very hard to do in the midst of great tragedy, but life is not worth living with no hope and no joy whatsoever. Even in tragedy, we should be grateful for every moment of life and every blessing, however minor, that God has given us, remembering always that death is not the worst thing that can happen to us. In reality, living without God is the worst thing that can happen to us. Because, without God, there is no life and there is no true blessing, and hope is just a mirage, a convenient delusion to which only fools will cling.
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