May 26, 2009

Movie recommendation: The Man from Earth

"The Man from Earth" is a fantastic science fiction movie touching upon arguably the most sensitive topic known to man, religion. The screen play is brilliant and though its a short film, it is unnervingly captivating, and does not come off in any way, as cheesy or ridiculous. The story is about a protagonist professor, John Oldman, who is leaving the university he works at and moving away, out of the blue. When pressed by his friends as to why he is leaving, he reveals for the first time to anyone, that he is actually about 14,000 years old and was once a caveman, and since he doesn't age, he needs to keep on moving along from one point to another every 10 years or so, to avoid suspicion. Thus the entire movie is an intellectual discourse amongst the skeptical guests at his going away party. These guests include a historian, a biologist, an anthropologist, an archaeologist and a religious scholar and they all grapple with the remote possibility that someone might actually be able to live this long, yet have no way to prove it, be a part of history as well, and more importantly, be a religious figure. In a shocking twist, Oldman reveals that he became a follower of Buddha after meeting him in India. After Buddha's death, he decided to spread Buddha's teachings of tolerence and peace and travelled across the world preaching. People didn't listen to him, they spited him and so on and eventually they crucified him. But John just let his muscles relax and pretended to die, using meditation he had learned while traveling through India. His audience is flabbergasted as, incredibly, Oldman had just claimed to actually be Jesus Christ!
Anyway, I certainly cannot explain this movie as well as wikipedia or the movie itself, so I'm not going to even going to try. But I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys science fiction, or who thinks about religion and the meaning of life. At the very least, this movie has the ability to spark discussions.

I certainly felt this movie was thought-provoking, I was frightened at some points, inspired at others, but at the end, I was aching to talk to someone about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment