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Adam's Apples

Black humor and handguns
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 11, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
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ADAM’S APPLES: Faith that’s as much mystery as absurdity.

Before fundamentalists hijacked it, faith was as much mystery as absurdity. Restoring the balance a bit is Anders Thomas Jensen’s 2005 effort, a kind of early Bergman film with black humor and handguns. Neo-Nazi convict Adam doesn’t like Ivan (Mads Mikkelsen), the pastor of the church that’s serving as his halfway house — Ivan’s Candide-like optimism and bald-faced denial of harsh realities (“What a handsome man,” he remarks of the picture of Hitler hanging on Adam’s wall. “Is that your father?”) drive Adam nuts. Asked by Ivan to set a goal, Adam sarcastically pledges to bake a cake from the fruit of Ivan’s beloved apple tree, and that sets off a series of plagues rivaling those in The Reaping. Nothing new for Ivan, however, for as Adam learns, his life has been a trial of torments since birth, a point underscored by a Bible that always opens to the Book of Job. Despite such heavy-handed symbolism, faith in Jensen’s talent is rewarded.
  Topics: Reviews , Culture and Lifestyle, Religion, Adolf Hitler,  More more >
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