Release Date: July 25, 2014
Running Time: 113 minutes
God made the seeing eye, according to Proverbs 20:12, but don’t tell this to the molecular biologist of director Mike Cahill’s I Origin, who does not believe in a higher power. Cahill’s measured showdown between science and Christianity finds Michael Pitt’s scientist spending years researching the evolution of the eye in the bid to disprove the existence of God. His work takes on a deeper meaning following a tragic loss that ties in almost a decade later to the birth of his son with his colleague and wife (a flat Brit Marling). While Cahill is very much about the science of I Origin—in and out of the lab—the passion and commitment to be found in Pitt’s biologist creates the emotional entry point that’s necessary to care about him and take an interest in his work. The first half of I Origins feels very one sided, with Cahill challenging the theories put fought by creationists. The second half, which employs iris biometrics to drive the quest undertaken by Pitt, isn’t interested in making black-and-white statements. Instead, Cahill asks whether science and religion can and should move beyond their complicated, antagonistic relationship in order to work together for the better good. In Cahill’s bid to find common ground, the discovery that Pitt makes in the closing minutes feels too romantic and decisive for I Origins’ own good. As with Cahill’s lacking directorial debut, 2011’s Another Earth, I Origins offers an ending that sets a new beginning in motion. While both films attempt to force us to confront the very nature of existence long after end credits are over, Cahill offers comfort with I Origins about the inevitability of death as penchant for Another Earth leaving us chilled with uncertainty.
Aired: July 24, 2014
Web site: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/iorigins/