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USA 2004
Directed by
Mark Vicente, Betsy Chasse, William Arntz
108 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

What The Bleep Do We Know?

Synopsis: What does quantum physics and a woman named Amanda (Marlee Matlin) who has many questions about her life have in common? The answer is here.

What is this film? Ostensibly a kind of documentary on quantum physics and our understanding of the world, it is made with the mind-numbing proselytizing spirit of a corporate video, albeit a very expensive one. It is replete with many talking heads who drum home the message that subjectivity rules and that it is in your power to create reality, that in a word, you are God. Somewhat disconcertingly it twins all this with a sketchy narrative concerning a deaf woman with emotional problems, a variety of animation effects and an eclectic syntheziser and retro pop soundtrack. A rather skewed preoccupation with addictive behaviour suggests that this film started life with a different agenda and only subsequently was broadened to the mish-mash of illustrated pop psychology and philosophy which it is.

Throughout these proceedings I kept on expecting a representative from the Scientologists or some well-heeled New Age tribe to suggest that if I wanted to know more, to turn theory into practice as it were, then all I needed to do was to contact so and so in my nearest capital city etc., etc. Whilst nothing so overt came, the end credits reveal that there is a companion website which, it turns out, sports an extensive array of merchandise, typical of a lot of New Age businesses, that you can purchase for your odyssey to self-realisation.

Whilst it is surprising that what is essentially a sophisticated marketing device has gained a theatrical cinema release and, even more so, has attracted a steady audience this does not mean that what is being said is to be simply dismissed. Most of it is good sense although I was a little sceptical of Dr Emoto's water crystals. Some of the academics do impart some useful information, one aptly named Joe Dispenza, a Doctor of Chiropracty, impressed me with his articulation of emotional issues but there is a limit to how many times we needed to hear a lot of the well-meaning vagaries, even if they come from one so well-credentialled as Ramtha (Ramtha is a 35,000-year-old mystical sage from the lost continent of Atlantis, apparently) as channeled by the psychic JZ Knight.

Chronic New Agers will find much to concur with here, newbies may find it enlightening, most punters will wish they had chosen to see something, almost anything, else.




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