Supernatural quest cinema at its best

Winston Duke and Zazie Beetz in the supernatural drama Nine Days (IMDB)

Nine Days is an engrossing drama which explores the meaning of life in a stimulating and evocative way, using a paranormal plotline to dramatise its messages and addressing multiple moral themes. Source: Jesuit Media.

The film is directed by first-time, Brazilian-Japanese director, Edson Oda. It tells the story of a man who interviews five unborn souls to determine which one of them should be given the chance for life on Earth.

Will (Duke) spends his time in a remote house watching TV coverage of people going about their lives. One of them dies, so creating a vacancy for a new life on Earth. The movie doesn’t unfold on Earth as we know it, but in some unnamed parallel dimension. A woman called Amanda (Starrett) has created the vacancy by being killed in a road accident. She suicided, and Will is preoccupied with "why?" Will has the task of judging souls before they inhabit the bodies of the living, and he has nine days to come to his judgment about who takes Amanda’s place.

Five unborn, adult souls are selected by Will and they arrive at his house in the middle of the desert to be auditioned for the opportunity to be born. Will asks simple questions about the likes and dislikes of the lives of those he interviews; he poses complex moral dilemmas that must be answered. Ironically, in the process of selection, Will’s own life comes under scrutiny.

In this film, truths and conjectures about life are communicated under the guidance of a quasi-spiritual director (Oda), who is asking viewers to knowingly embrace the right to exist. The film contains massive food for spiritual discussion, and represents cinematic art at its best.

Peter Sheehan is an Associate of Jesuit Media

NINE DAYS. Starring: Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale, Arianna Ortiz, Bill Skarsgard, David Rysdahl and Lisa Starrett. Directed by Edson Oda. Rated M (Mature themes, violence and coarse language). 124 min.

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Nine Days (Jesuit Media via Australian Catholics)

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