The film blends with subtlety reality and fiction, especially through scenes that sometimes resemble the quest of Thomas, sometimes the one of the characters in the novel by Izzi. This allows the themes to appear as existing outside of time. The tree of life, which is the common theme of the three eras helps us to understand that there is more than one interpretation for the movie. Basically, it does not matter in detail what the movie is about, perhaps because the unified themes provide a coherence that illuminates our understanding of life a little better.
What can be understood as an odyssey through time and through the cycles of life and death is above all an odyssey through an inner journey, a real and salutary quest for the mysteries that haunt our existence. The richness and emotional depth allow us to understand how the death anxieties affect us at any level of existence.
Further in History, the descent of the Christ to save the fallen world is a single event. This return is a final regeneration towards the future, thereby opposing the archaic mode of thought with the late Judeo-Christian ontology. This is a transition from a cyclical time to a linear time, then a historical time, which gradually allows modern religions to be realized and justified in history. As for the creation of the world, it became by the same token a phenomenon detached from the individual. The latter is a being endowed with speech, that was able to revoke the immanence that once existed between him and Nature. This delineates Nature as the eternal reservoir for hierophanies and the temporary life of beings, waiting a redeemer figure.
Therein lies the religious dilemna: God is conceived on the one hand as the incarnation of absolute freedom, whereas individuals, on the other hand, cannot save themselves as they depend on the grace of God.