Fri, Dec 31, 2004 - Page 16 News List

`Genesis': The story of life from the point of view of a documentary and not the bible


Genesis looks at life from the beginning.


Genesis is the new documentary from the makers of the successful Microcosmos which gave us that insightful view of the insect-world. The focus this time is larger, much larger.

The filmmakers take a look at creation itself. Unlike what some viewers may expect, because of the title, Genesis is not the biblical account of creation made into a documentary, but rather the Darwinist-Eugenic version -- creation as seen by scientists, according to comments on the International Movie Data Base.

This film boldly undertakes to tell the story of life from the Big Bang to the variety of species that we know today. And the history lesson becomes a fairy tale.

Genesis asks that you leave aside everything you know about yourself and think of your body as the substance that makes up the universe, your life as the energy that sparkled up the Big Bang, your projects as a shape, a limited space of organized chaos, resisting the deterioration of time. The film is breathtaking and captivating from the opening sequence to the last shot.

Every image of the film is carefully selected and placed in a sequence: swirling dirt becomes a galaxy and rings of water float on the sound of the mating dance. The technological prowess of the filming is staggering, but does not surpass the ingenuity of the editing and camera movements: shot in his apparent loneliness, the insect looks like a genius, solving obstacles one after the other.

Human meaning is attached to all images shown, from the fish pretending to be daydreaming while baiting its prey, to the crawling crab signaling to a rival.

The story of the earth is told by the reality of those jungles and tropical beaches that we know so little about: swimming frogs start to hop; the giant tortoise becomes a dinosaur.

If you think this is going to be some kind of Discovery Channel show, think again and surprise yourself -- it's better than that.

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