What The #$*! Do We Know

Film Review by Jeffrey Winters

Once in awhile we describe a film as intelligent and smart. The ideas it conveys make us think while it doesn’t talk down to the audience. “What The #$*! (pronounced bleep) Do We Know?” strives and achieves a different form of intelligence. This film successfully conveys wisdom without using diatribes, religious dogma, psychobabble or elevating a guru into the “I know and you don’t yet know” category. It entertains while it explores new ways to experience self, others, life and God.

Bleep (for short) interviews fourteen top scientists with an emphasis on quantum physics, neurology and molecular biology. The interspersed interviews also include a few mystics and intertwines their message with a dramatic narrative starring Marlee Matlin as Amanda.

At the same time fantastic cartoon graphics highlight certain key points. The film has a velvety and beautiful musical score composed by Christopher Franke who created much of the early work with Tangerine Dream.

If you are the kind of person who sees life as black and white both in religious and political terms this film might “blow your mind”. The people in the movie and the story being told constantly introduce new ways to experience life. They tell us the same reality we see and habitually live by is really made up of infinite possibilities which are governed by internal choice and personal responsibility. This is very similar to Castaneda’s books with Don Juan.

Marlee Matlin as Amanda is a skilled photographer who walks around as if her internal gyroscope is breaking. She experiences life through the veil of past hurt and pain. Matlin uses facial expressions which capture a large spectrum of feelings representing everything from confusion, fear, and hurt to joy and humble acceptance. During her dramatic presentation an interviewer explains how nuero -peptides addict all of us to behavior from the past.

Matlin’s acting is phenomenal in this film. We can identify with her self hatred and confusion as she literally struggles to pick herself up and reunify as a full human being who can experience her worth and beauty. Her journey is a familiar one for anyone trying to heal or gain freedom from the wrong and habitual messages we have inherited from negative media and bad parenting.

One important theme in the film is how thoughts and feelings affect us on a cellular, mental and everyday level. We are shown Dr. Emoto’s work: “Messages from Water.” Dr. Emoto photographed drops of water after writing thoughts and feelings on the outside of each container. The water crystallized with beautiful harmony to expressions of love and had a chaotic look when negative messages were scripted. We human beings are made up of mostly water. Combine this water photography with a discussion of how the brain perceives reality and you can understand the relationship between thought and creating one’s personal reality.

This film doesn’t offer any one answer to life. With a twinkle in the eye it asks us to entertain a deeper and more complex curiosity then we often perceive. It also suggests that one doesn’t have to suffer in order to change or transform our world view. We can rearrange the choices we make to shift and move out of the past. This is a fantastic film which entertains us into seeing a broadened view of life and the many possibilities available for us.

Along with this film, I would like to recommend three books: “Ano Ano The Seed” by Kristin Zambucka (out of print but available online). This is a poetic book about how we nurture and create our reality. “Urban Shaman” by Serge Kahili King is a gem. And the long running best seller by Ruiz, “The Four Agreements” offers deceptively simple ways to improve how we live our lives.