A thrilling, intense chronicle analysing the thought and development of 'a very boring man who never made love in his life' (Rossellini). The 17th century scientist and philosopher struggles with a society which believes in witchcraft and ridicules his discovery of the vacuum. Notions of both are made concrete as the film illustrates Pascal painfully pushing Europe towards Enlightenment. Discoursing with Descartes, he explains the necessity of limits to reason for the existence of God. And the 20th century audience understands, recognising a world explored with extraordinary lucidity and simplicity. Faith grapples with empiricism, reason routs superstition, and with every frame, Rossellini reinvents the historical biography.