Though billed as an “evolution” of What the Bleep Do We Know!? (2004), a documentary-fiction hybrid exploring the mind-body connection and the point at which science and spirituality intersect, this is, in fact, just a longer version of the earlier film. All the material from the first movie—from the fictional story of a neurotic photographer (Matlin) who learns to break self-destructive patterns of thinking to interviews with a mixed bag of doctors, physicists and New Age thinkers—is here again, reordered and padded with some 45 minutes of additional footage.
Like the original, this new version poses provocative and legitimate questions about the nature of consciousness and its relationship with external reality, the neurological basis of addictive behaviors and the paradoxes of quantum physics—which is so far removed from the black-and-white certainties of classical science that it’s always in danger of sounding like voodoo to laypeople. And as in the first film, the claims of various experts are colored by the filmmakers’ close association with Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment and its prominently featured founder, JZ Knight, who claims to be a vessel for the wisdom of a 35,000-year-old warrior spirit from Atlantis. When you add trance channeling to the mix, everything takes on a nutty flavor—the disclaimer that not all the interviewees concur with the film’s conclusions about spirituality and science notwithstanding. (Opens Fri; Quad.)—Maitland McDonagh