Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mindwalk - film

Mindwalk is a 1990 film directed by Bernt Amadeus Capra, based on his own short story, based in-turn on the book The Turning Point by his brother Fritjof Capra, the author of the book The Tao of Physics.

The majority of the movie is a conversation between three characters: a Norwegian scientist, Sonia Hoffman—"the only woman in my department, the first in Norway doing quantum field theory"—played by Liv Ullmann, an American politician—a former presidential candidate—Jack Edwards, played by Sam Waterston, and poet Thomas Harriman, also a former political speechwriter (played by John Heard) as they wander around Mont Saint Michel, France. The movie serves as an introduction to systems theory and systems thinking, while insights into modern physical theories such as quantum mechanics and particle physics are also given.

Political and social problems, and alternative solutions for them, are another major focus of the film. However, specific problems and solutions are not the main focus; rather, different perspectives are presented through which these problems can be viewed and considered. Sonia Hoffman's perspective is referred to as the holistic, or systems theory, perspective. Thomas Harriman, the poet, recites the poem "Enigmas" by Pablo Neruda (based on the translation by Robert Bly) at the end of the movie, concluding the core of the discussion.

The film was filmed on the mount, and thus has great views of many structures there, especially approach over the tidal flats, the cathedral, the walkways, most especially the giant and ancient clock mechanism.