So why is everyone so sad? It turns out that Gully didn’t die of his terminal illness, as viewers might have assumed. One afternoon, when Nana leaves the boys in her truck while heading into the woods on a faith-healing mission, young Ivan loses patience and attempts to drive the truck away, relying on lessons taught to him by his grandfather. Unable to see over the wheel, Ivan loses control of the truck and skids off the road onto a frozen lake, which promptly buckles under the weight of the vehicle. Ivan survives, Gully doesn’t, and Nana’s resentment and grief put a wedge in their relationship. 20 years later, Jannia leads the older Ivan right to his mother and the two have it out in emotional fashion, right in front of her camera.
The Reveal furthers the discussion of the film while providing a space for readers who have seen it to discuss plot-sensitive details. In other words: Spoilers ahead. Avoiding spoilers? Return to the review.