What’s It All About? (Documentary Review: “The Most Unknown”)

the most unknownPOSTER

A unique approach to a science documentary in which – like a game of global tag – nine cutting edge researchers exploring the outer limits of human knowledge literally drop in on each other’s ‘laboratories’ to get a peek at an area of scientific exploration they know nothing about . . . this film borders on the Delightful.


SnapShot Plot

The Most Unknown is an inventive and exhilarating documentary that transports its audience from the smallest forms of life to the outer reaches of the Cosmos, vis a vis a simple premise: a Round Robin globetrotting tour. From a cave deep in the Italian countryside to a physics lab in Milan exploring Dark Matter, a neuroscience center in Belgium analyzing the realms of human consciousness, a deep space telescope in Hawaii, the original atomic clock and its role in instrumentation/measurement, an underwater exploration of the ocean floor, and an island completely inhabited by monkeys (just to name a few) the film introduces us to the people who are pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. In short successive chapters, we are introduced to each scientist to see him/her in their natural habitat and get an orientation to their respective area of scientific research. And then, like passing a baton, that person will get on a bus, train or plane to travel to the location of the next ‘extremologist’ on the list, to learn about an area of science he/she knows nothing about, hence placing themselves on the same level as we the audience. Ingenious.



Parting Shot

Directed by Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Ian Cheney (The Search for
General Tso;
 The City Dark) The Most Unknown has a visually resplendent and musically trippy quality, no doubt attributable to the advisory role by world-renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo;
AguirreThe Wrath of God; Grizzly Man). But this groove of ‘awesomeness’ is a thread that runs naturally throughout the film, expressed in the sheer passion with which these nine scientists try and answer the deepest questions about the origins of life, the reason we are here, the power within our minds, and what lies beyond our wildest imaginations. In the final analysis, its a contemplation on and a dedication to Human Knowledge and our belief in Man’s ability to overcome all barriers to discovery, or what has been referred to as ‘mysterianism’.  We’ve only scratched the surface, the film tells us, and the best is yet to be revealed.

This is the kind of documentary you wish you’d seen in middle school. It shows (mostly) scruffy, hipster nerds who are doing the most out-there scientific research going on in the world right now. In a word, these are the coolest people on the planet.

The Most Unknown is presently streaming on Netflix.

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YouTube Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htk30zpNalM

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