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ss nucleus - spring 2020,  film review: I Origins

film review: I Origins

In this delightfully different film, molecular biologist Michael Pitt and his lab partner Brit Marling make an unexpected discovery. In an escalating plot, we see two main themes: the young researcher's romantic endeavours with a woman who is quite his opposite, and his on-the-cusp-of-greatness ophthalmic research on mice. The film also introduces wider concepts: there are emotive scenes of tragedy and loss, and the emerging primary theme of the interface between scientism and spirituality. Throughout the film, the battle between 'science and faith' is considered, until eventually the two are forced to confront each other.

This is a profoundly human film, without cliché, which makes it easy to watch. It is a thought-provoking introduction to thinking critically about the possibility of an afterlife, or at the very least, a spiritual dimension to the human experience.

I viewed the film with two friends: one Christian and one non-Christian. In contrast to some cinematic experiences where I have only been too glad that the film has finally ended, this film was immediately followed by discussion, despite the lateness of the hour. This is a testament to the film's ability to begin a wider conversation for which there is rarely a natural opportunity. While it begins the conversation, the film does not progress to the conclusion that the Christian may desire (either for himself or his friend) insofar as it does not point to a spirituality and afterlife with Jesus (and only Jesus) at the centre.

This is an intricate film with value beyond its one hour and 47 minutes. Watch with friends, particularly those who have differing beliefs concerning the relationship between science and spirituality, and reap the benefits of such a natural conversation starter. Consider asking: 'What would it take for you to believe in a spiritual realm?' Reflect on and share the different narrative of the fullness of life that Jesus provides (1) and the completeness of the revelation God has given through the life, death and resurrection of his Son. (2)

Sophie Latta is a medical student in Bristol

1. John 10:10

2. Hebrews 1:1-3

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