Them That Follow

THEM THAT FOLLOW DEPICTS SHALLOW LIVES Why do those attending Trump’s rallies seem so eager to chant, cheer, and applaud whatever he says? That might night not be the question posed by Them That Follow, but the portrayal provides the answer. Co-directed by Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage, much of the film, set in rural Appalachia, demonstrates poverty among members of a community that find meaning in life only due to leadership of the local evangelical preacher, Lemuel (played by Walton Goggins).

Everyone is on the lookout for sin, and Lemuel proudly displays a large snake as if to suggest the creature in Genesis, which invited Adam to seek knowledge of good and evil, thereby losing his innocence. Indeed, the community prefers direction from the preacher, including loud chanting, to seeking knowledge that might liberate the poverty of the community.

But the main plot is about Mara (Alice Englert), whose parents have chosen a groom for her despite her love for Augie (Thomas Mann), who rejects the preacher’s control. After announcement of her engagement, her lost of virginity is revealed, but Augie confesses that he is responsible. What then happens is the weird climax of the noir film.  MH