How Deep is your Love?

In the midst of this Easter season it seems most timely that I just finished watching a film that many would be surprised at my calling a redemption story, although the twists and turns exemplify what Wendell Berry would consider practicing resurrection. Adams æbler (Adam’s Apples) is a Danish dark comedy from 2005 in which Ivan, the pastor of an otherwise idyllic small parish in the countryside, has taken it upon himself to care for those whom the world has abandoned, including Adam, a recently paroled neo-Nazi convict. To say that Ivan is in denial or delusional would be an understatement and miss the profundity of his deep (or misguided?) love. To say that Adam (representing all humanity, of course) is evil and unredeemable would also miss the strength of an apple pie (baked wisdom?). Other themes in the film replicate the power of the Paschal mystery—the life, death, and resurrection of Christ—placing it within reach in our world. Sacrifice, even at the cost of a life and though blood outpoured for another, redeems others and gives them a second chance at abundant life. That the film ends surprisingly as it does, however, is proof (even situated within an absurd film that requires a willing suspension of disbelief) that a witness of deep love can bring new life, hope, and further love in a dark, broken, and hurt world. Like both Ivan and Adam, we all stand in need of redemption; Adams æbler helps us not only see that through the follies of such extreme characters but also to recognize that, if it is possible for them, it is most certainly possible for us. As the film ends with the Bee Gees’ recurring overture that fills the film, asking How Deep is your Love?, the camera turns to us as if asking to what lengths we’re willing to go in order to redeem others and ourselves. How deep is your love?

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