Documentary Review: ‘The Most Unknown’

The Most Unknown is a larger-than-life documentary, both in scope and possibly budget, as they take you to sites 14,000 feet above sea level and about 15,000 ft. below. Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning director Ian Cheney (The Search for General Tso, The City Dark), sends nine scientists around the world to explore some of humanity’s most significant questions and discover how it may all be more connected than they initially thought. The Most Unknown was made possible by a grant from Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation enterprise dedicated to introducing the process of science to the masses and with the help of world-famous filmmaker Werner Herzog. The Most Unknown opens at the Quad Cinema in New York on May 18th with additional cities across the U.S. and Canada to follow.

How did life begin? What is time? What is consciousness? These questions and more are what drive the nine scientists that we follow throughout the film. These men and women from all over the world use intelligence and passion to fuel their pursuit of answers to these world-altering questions. They are hopeful, but know that they may not live long enough to see the solution to their problem; they just want to contribute to the process. The scientists did a terrific job of presenting their complex research in a personable and easy to understand way.

Accompanying the intrepid scientists on their journey is a terrific film crew led by cinematographers Michael James Murray and Emily Topper. The footage is truly beautiful, and they were able to capture what makes each stop unique, whether it’s the beauty of a Hawaiian island, the ocean depths, or the organized chaos of a time research lab.

I enjoyed this movie, but I am a bit of a science nerd. Even though the topics were presented in a very accessible way, I am not sure how successful this film with be with general audiences because the description is more intimidating than the film itself. I think this film is best suited for people early in their high school careers, providing them a broad overview of some of the most fascinating scientific explorations currently taking place. With the recent focus on STEM and STEAM courses, getting people interested in a field early, when they have the time to tailor their education to fit their passions, is best.

Opening at The Quad Cinema in New York on May 18th and Additional Cities Across the U.S. and CANADA to Follow.

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