Linguistics professor Louise Banks leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in twelve locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Louise and her crew must race against time to fi nd a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of humanity.
Arrival is, at its heart, a hopeful fi lm, and it strikes a careful balance between the dreadful tension of the unknown and the experience of redemption for our planet. There is an acceptance in the fi lm that tragedy is as much a part of life as joy; that the two are as bound together as the past and the present, life and death, arrival and departure.
In this clip we see Louise with her dying daughter, who is diagnosed with cancer as a young woman. We see the effect he r death has on Louise. This scene ends and transitions into Louise at work, where we see a world responding to the arrival of the unknown aliens.
After showing the clip, break into small groups and discuss the following questions. If you are only watching this clip it is probably worth explaining that this scene is a premonition Louise receives about her future.
- How do you think the world would respond to the arrival of unknown aliens?
- If we discovered that aliens really existed, would this have an impact on our belief in the existence of God?
- If you’d witnessed this premonition as Louise, would you go through the same experiences knowing they would end in heartbreak, or would you try to change the future?
- If God is outside of time like the aliens in Arrival, does this mean he has seen our future?
Go on to read Matthew 26:17-35 and 69-75 (the whole chapter would be better if time allows, and you may want to also give the story in context fi rst). Then return to your groups to discuss the next set of questions:
- Does this story imply that Jesus knows the future?
- If Jesus prophesied that Peter would disown him, did Peter have a choice not to?
- How do you think Jesus was feeling in this passage, knowing that his friend would disown him?
- If God has seen our future and has set plans for us, does this mean we don’t have free will?
If you have the time, why not watch the whole of Arrival to see the clip in context?