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Jan 21, 2024

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“Come to Brazil, Boys’ Bible Study!” The Boys heard your cries, so we unwind in South American paradise with a Brazilian rapture movie that may possibly be associated with the Seventh-day Adventist church. Not a lot of information exists online about THE FINAL BATTLE other than an IMDb page crediting director Elso Alves, so we have to draw a lot of our own conclusions about its perspective. THE FINAL BATTLE hits some major touchstones we’ve come to expect from rapture pop theology, including fears of a one world government and currency. What sets this film apart from the others is its repeated insistence that Saturday is the true Sabbath, not Sunday, and that the Biblical rapture will begin in part due to a “dominical decree” across the world that will force people to work on Saturday and rest Sunday. The film’s preoccupation with the Sabbath and with the final annihilation of the rapture is consistent with Seventh-day Adventist theology, which emerged from Millerite teachings in the 19th century United States and has since spread around the world. Its global penetration is felt in THE FINAL BATTLE, one of the few Christian films we’ve watched that depicts characters shirtless or in bikinis lounging by the pool as they await persecution by the One World Government, which seems to us like a uniquely Brazilian perspective on the rapture. Elegant shots of palm trees are broken up with bizarre and intense imagery depicting the earth’s destruction and, in one particularly memorable scene, a sinful young man weeping as he is stuck on an annihilated earth watching his former friends sing and celebrate as angels in heaven. Many Christian directors have taken their turn depicting the rapture; THE FINAL BATTLE manages to keep the terror while injecting some delightful “fun in the sun”.

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