Days of Heaven

1978 | Rated PG
directed by Terrence Malick
On the plains of the Texas Panhandle, a young farmhand and his employer love the same girl. Their happiness is short-lived. But it is the dazzling, relentless drama of nature around them—sunsets, seasons, a locust plague—that makes them seem as ephemeral as "flowers of the field."

Blade Runner

1982 | Rated R
directed by Ridley Scott
A band of human-like robots is running from the law through a dystopian Los Angeles. They want to extend the expiration date programmed into them. The detective who hunts them must confront the terror brought by death when it is not sleep but an end.

Grave of the Fireflies

1988 | Not rated
directed by Isao Takahata
A brother and sister living in Japan are orphaned during World War II. We know from the start of this anim film that neither will survive, so it is gut-wrenching to follow their tender relationship, drawn with surprising naturalism and moments of quiet beauty.

The Seventh Seal

1957 | Not rated
directed by Ingmar Bergman
A knight returns from the Crusades to find the plague ravaging his homeland. He soon begins an iconic game of chess with Death and an existential struggle with God's silence. The images are stark—white-faced Death, a procession of flagellants, and 28-year-old Max von Sydow looking 48.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

2001-03 | Rated PG-13
directed by Peter Jackson
Tolkien's story delves into the peculiar nature of mortality by juxtaposing mortal and immortal peoples. As the ring proves, death is not the real enemy. In fact, some wounds, like the ring-bearer's, will not fully leave us until we exchange this world for another.

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