The Sunset Limited

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

– Ecclesiastes 1:18



The Sunset Limited is a 2011 television film based on the play written by Cormac McCarthy. The film stars Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson.

Two men with opposing beliefs confront each other in an apartment. The film starts out with Black (Samuel L. Jackson) and White (Tommy Lee Jones) conversing about White’s attempted suicide. White feels as though everything ends up in death, and that his life is minuscule in the throes of time.

From White’s point of view, no matter how great someone or something is, all that is created eventually fades away. This is the opposite of what Black believes. He believes that there is a God and that we all must go through the troubles of life to get to paradise (Heaven). By his own account, his story is that of a man who has committed murder and was far away from God, but has now changed.

Black feels that he can persuade White from committing suicide. With Black stopping White right before he was about to kill himself, Black feels that this is destiny.


Available on HBO: http://www.hbo.com/movies/sunset-limited

Full text: The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy (PDF)

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