Pop Matters on disclosure
in the new version of Malick's The Tree of Life
To call Malick's aesthetics "Heideggerian" may be too schematic and reductive, but the influence of Heidegger is clear. Intrinsic to being human, according to Heidegger, is the ability to ask questions about being, about the mysteries and meaning of being. For Heidegger, we are predisposed to be philosophers, to both be intimately a part of the world and simultaneously, and paradoxically, to be distant from the world with our questioning. What is key, though, is our orientation towards the world. Rather than place our selves as the center of all relations and reduce the rest of the world to resources whose sole purpose is for human exploitation and use, what makes us fully human is to see and engage with the richness and awesomeness of being in all its multiplicity. According to Heidegger, we must learn the art of patience and allow the world to disclose itself, a disclosure that cannot be forced by human will.