Act of God 2009

Amazon Instant Video

(2) IMDb 4.9/10

Is being hit by lightning a random natural occurrence or a predestined event? Accidents, fate, chance, and the elusive quest to make sense out of tragedy underpin director JENNIFER BAICHWAL's (Manufactured Landscapes) captivating new work, an elegant cinematic meditation on the spiritual and metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning. Using seven stories from around the world, Act of God explores profound questions with the sky and its fiery output the central visual metaphor. Novelist PAUL AUSTER, was caught in a deadly storm as a teenager, anchors the film, spriritualist DANNION BRINKLEY asks provocative questions, and improvisational musician FRED FRITH demonstrates the harmony of electricity in our bodies and in the universe. Visually dazzling and aurally seductive, Act of God captures the harsh beauty of the skies and the lives of those who have been forever touched by their fury.

Runtime:
1 hour 15 minutes

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Act of God

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Act of God

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Jennifer Baichwal
Studio Zeitgeist Films
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on January 26, 2010
Format: DVD
In an earlier age, we had painters, sculptors, stained-glass artisans and stonemasons who could open our eyes in fresh ways. Today, documentary filmmakers may have the best shot at our ever-shortening attention spans--partly because their films bring us vivid glimpses of honest-to-goodness truth.

In 75 minutes of "Act of God," Jennifer Baichwal invites us to break out of old patterns of thinking as we explore lightning--as well as creativity, chance and coincidence.

I found novelist Paul Auster the most fascinating person in the film. As "Act of God" opens, he explains to us: "It has something of the Divine about it--something just so transcendently scary about it. It opened up a whole realm of speculation that I've continued to live with ever since and I think it's deeply implanted in all the work I've done, all the writing I've done and everything I've thought about ever since."

He's talking about a traumatic experience in his childhood when he witnessed lightning strike--and kill--a boy named Ralph.

Hearing Auster talk about this experience makes one think long and hard about his strange body of work like the metaphysical mystery novels, The New York Trilogy (Green Integer), where "catching a bad guy" isn't really the point of the stories. These books are far more disturbing than typical mysteries because they're really mysteries about the nature of mystery itself.

As "Act of God" unfolds there are several speculative "sub plots"--for example, one in which the filmmaker visits scientists trying to map electrical patterns in the brain.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin T. Minard on March 5, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a terrible load of crap. This was not what the description of the movie promised at all. I was looking forward to hearing experiences of people who had been directly hit by lightning and survived. This was mostly people describing lightning strikes that happened next to them and threw them away from the blast.

There were maybe 2 stories in the whole movie that came close to what I needed.

The rest were sob stories about how lightning had taken this or that relative or friend of the people interviewed.

Which may make me sound insensitive, but this wasn't why I bought the movie.

I also didn't buy the movie so bible thumpers could try to brain wash me. Which is also another thing I was displeased with. >_<
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