On this week’s Movies vs. Capitalism, hosts Rivka Rivera and Frank Cappello are joined by Lever senior editor and reporter Andrew Perez to discuss the existential dread of Paul Schrader’s 2017 climate change drama First Reformed.

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A rough transcript of the episode is available here.

The summer of 2023 has been marked by climate-fueled extreme weather events such as record-setting heat waves, devastating wildfires, and unprecedented tropical storms. As young climate activists beg President Joe Biden to combat the crisis by declaring a climate emergency, those who care about a livable climate’s future are left screaming, “Somebody has to do something!”

Paul Schrader screamed the same thing in 2017 with his film First Reformed, the story of a Christian pastor in upstate New York who is forced to reconcile the existential threat of climate change with his faith. In today’s episode, the MVC group discusses the film’s masterful storytelling and performances, how its fictional villain is a perfect stand-in for real-world villains like Koch Industries, and its gripping portrayal of violent radicalization.

For next week’s movie, we’ll be watching the Great Depression-era film Grapes of Wrath.

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