The Better Angels

A.J. Edwards, USA 2014, 95’

If you didn’t know who directed this film, you would certainly guess Terrence Malick. In his directorial debut, A.J. Edwards proves to be a loyal disciple to Malick, someone he has worked with for nearly a decade. With a similar unhurried narrative, heavily stylized shots, and extensive voiceover commentary, Edwards’ film features everything that we are familiar with from the maker of The Tree of Life. The young director decided to use this esthetic to tell us the story of Abraham Lincoln’s lesser-known, childhood years, setting the story in Indiana in 1817. We learn about the future American president mainly through stories told in a calm, measured manner by his cousin Dennis. In reality, this film is as much about Lincoln’s family as it is about Lincoln himself. It is about the two women who had the greatest influence on him: his mother, who died prematurely, and his stepmother, who took care of him after his mother’s death. This is confirmed by what Lincoln says at the beginning of the film, All that I am I owe to my angelic mother.

A.J. Edwards

Born in 1985 in Walnut Creek, California, but he grew up in Texas. His film education was closely tied to the legendary American director Terrence Malick. Since the 2005 film The New World, Edwards has worked with Malick in various capacities, as an editor, a consultant, and a second-unit director. One of the producers of The Better Angels, Edwards’ directorial debut, is Malick himself.


2014 Świętsze od aniołów / The Better Angels

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Cast & Crew

director A.J. Edwards
screenplay A.J. Edwards
cinematography Matthew J. Lloyd
editing Alex Milan
music Hanan Townshend
cast Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, Wes Bentley, Braydon Denney
producer Charley Beil, Jake DeVito, Nicolas Gonda, Terrence Malick
production Brothers K Productions
sales Archipelago Entertainment
language English
coloration b&w
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