First Reformed

Paul Schrader, USA 2017, 113’
Dead Women Walking Halloween

Paul Schrader is back behind the camera in a film that evoked an enthusiastic response at last year's festival in Venice. The main character in First Reformed is Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke), a pastor at a small church. Toller appears to be an unhappy man, depressed by his son's tragic death. An additional source of concern for him are the problems facing his parishioners, particularly Mary (Amanda Seyfried), who is experiencing a crisis in her relationship with her husband, a political radical. Through their sincere exchanges with one another, Ernst and Mary grow closer. Although Schrader touches on universal problems in the film, he proves that he is also an insightful observer of reality, which is why he doesn't hesitate to allude in First Reformed to events such as the war in Iraq or damage to the environment. At the same time, however, the American filmmaker does not confuse cinema with journalism and remains faithful to his own style of directing, one of the most important components of which is the courage that allows him to surprise the viewer by using risky plot twists and openly flirting with kitsch.

Piotr Czerkawski


Venice IFF 2017 – Green Drop Award; FEST IFF 2018 – Best Director; International Online Cinema Awards (INOCA) 2018 – Best Original Screenplay

Paul Schrader

Born in Grand Rapids in 1946, Paul Schrader is one of the America's most famous screenwriters. He has collaborated with, among others , Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ), Brian DePalma (Obsession) and Peter Weir (The Mosquito Coast). He also regularly directs films in which he takes a look at outsiders trying to hang onto the basic values in their lives. His best-known films are Hardcore, Touch and Affliction.

Selected filmography

1978 Niebieskie kołnierzyki / Blue Collar

1979 Dwa światy / Hardcore

1987 Światłość dnia / Light of the Day

1997 Dotyk / Touch

1997 Prywatne piekło / Affliction

2008 Zmartwychwstanie Adama / Adam Resurrected

Cast & Crew

director Paul Schrader
screenplay Paul Schrader
cinematography Alexander Dynan
editing Benjamin Rodriguez Jr.
music Brian Williams
cast Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric the Entertainer
producer Jack Binder, Greg Clark, Gary Hamilton, Victoria Hill, David Hinojosa, Frank Murray, Deepak Sikka, Christine Vachon
production Killer Films, Fibonacci Films, Arclight Films, Big Indie Pictures, Omeira Studio
language English
coloration colour
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