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First Reformed (2018)

Ernst Toller is the pastor of the First Reformed Church in Snowbridge, New York, who is struggling with a crisis of faith. The film opens with him writing down his thoughts in a journal, which he plans to keep for a year, and then destroy. He leads a 250-year-old Dutch Reformed Church which was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. It faces dwindling attendance under Toller’s leadership, which has taken the church away from its historical focus on Calvinist theology; it now serves mostly as a tourist attraction. Toller, a former military chaplain, is also struggling with the death of his son Joseph, who was killed in the Iraq War, and with alcoholism. Toller seeks a deeper spiritual understanding through reading Roman Catholic writers (G. K. Chesterton and Thomas Merton) and mystical books (The Cloud of Unknowing). This leads him to seek support from Abundant Life, the evangelical megachurch in Albany that owns First Reformed.

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric Kyles,

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