Directed by Bernt Capra. 1992.
Set at the monastery of Mont St. Michel off the Normandy coast, the remoteness of the island provides a perfect background for reflection. Jack Edwards (Sam Waterston) is a US Senator and unsuccessful candidate for President. He has come to Mont St. Michel to meet with his friend and former speechwriter, poet Thomas Harrison (John Heard) to ask for help in his re-election bid. The two meet scientist Sonia Hoffman (Liv Ullman) who recently left her research job at a U.S. university protesting how her research was being used. Prodded by her daughter Kit (Ione Skye) to get out and meet people, she goes for a walk to the monastery and joins the others. Each character has a different outlook on life. Sonia strongly maintains that the mechanistic approach of Descartes is no longer relevant and should be replaced by a holistic system similar to that of Eastern mystics. Jack relates to concepts in terms of how they may appeal to voters. Thomas is a romantic who would rather dispense with both theoretical science and practical politics.
The three talk and talk
some more on subjects ranging from the destruction of the Amazon rainforest
to the world of atoms and electrons but it never becomes tiresome because
each challenges the other to see the world from a different perspective.
The interchange takes place on a personal level as well and the result
is a deeper understanding of each other's life. Mindwalk will not
appeal to those looking for a conventional narrative but I found it to
be a highly stimulating and often humorous film that left me feeling uplifted.
Now if people throughout the world with opposite points of view could simply
walk and talk for a few hours together on an island retreat…oh well, one
can dream - right?
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