What the Bleep/Down the Rabbit Hole

What the Bleep Do We Know was a surprise cult favorite in 2004. Last year, an expanded edition, called Down the Rabbit Hole was released, containing new footage and a special feature that allows viewers to play the film in different sequences.

What the Bleep
is a fascinating quasi-documentary about recent discoveries in quantum physics and some of the philosophical and metaphysical implications of this new science. This makes the movie controversial, and it has attracted almost as much hostility as praise. To hardcore rationalists, What the Bleep is full of pseudo-science and unproven mystical theories. They especially dislike the presence of J.Z. Knight in the film, who is a channel for Ramtha, allegedly a spirit from ancient Atlantis.

Yes, from a traditional scientific or rationalist point of view, What the Bleep is easy to criticize or make fun of. Yet it could also be argued that this “traditional scientific” point of view is quite obsolete, relying as it does mainly on Newtonian physics. I am not even remotely qualified to discuss the validity of the physics experiments or commentary in What the Bleep. However, I can say that the film is a truly interesting and thought provoking exploration of a certain point of view, one that bridges science and mysticism. What the Bleep is really exploring the metaphysical ideas such as “you create your own reality” and attempting to show how modern physics supports this.

I call it a “quasi” documentary not because of the controversial nature of the science (after all, most documentaries contain debatable opinions or points of view), but because there is also a dramatic element to the film interspersed with the interviews. Marlee Matlin stars as a rather unhappy person who is searching for a more meaningful existence. Her travels through an unamed city (Toronto?) lead her to encounter people and ideas that gradually change her perspective. This adds a dramatic and human quality to the purely theoretical content, though some viewers have complained that it’s distracting to go back and forth between drama and documentary styles. I did not have a problem with it.

I would recommend What the Bleep, or Down the Rabbit Hole to anyone interested in scientific or metaphysical topics, no matter what your point of view. It may change your mind about some things, or it may convince you further of your present point of view. Either way, it can be a worthwhile piece of modern (or postmodern) thought to consider.

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