Release Date: March 17th, 2006 (Cinema Village) by THINKfilm.
Directed by Francesco Cabras and Alberto Molinari.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary that ponders the divine on the set of The Passion of the Christ.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The Big Question takes a series of twelve questions about God and presents them in an engaging, easy-to-follow way. The questions range from “Who is God to you?” to “How would you explain the big question to your child? Each question could each take a whole essay, a book, or even a lifetime to just to finish answering it. Directors Francesco Cabras and Alberto Molinari wisely allows a whole range cast-members from The Passion of the Christ to answer the questions one-by-one rather than present a few lengthy opinions which would confuse the viewer. In with the variety of opinions, The Big Question never feels one-sided or intimidating; it doesn’t present you with a single right answer, although one cast-member admits that somebody has right, ultimately. One particular interview is funny in the way the guy reacts to the simple question of whether God exists. Mel Gibson humorously admits that he feels like he’s crazy sometimes—just look at the way his eyes open wide a lot during his interview. Monica Bellucci and Jim Caviezel also get a chance to express themselves. In between the interviews, there are strange shots of a dog running around, which gets slightly repetitive and annoying although it does have a purpose—but not as seemingly strange in a scene when many hands are shown crossing. The cinematography is quite astonishing during these scenes—especially when the camera gradually gets farther away from the dog until it’s a merely a dot. Also, the well-chosen musical score is quite amazing. Fortunately, at a running time of 75 minutes, The Big Question never bores you while maintaining focus and never coming on too strongly.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: At some point in their lives, everyone has to ask the simple questions about the existence of God and other related questions. However, the answers are very complex and, not surprisingly, difficult to put into words. The words from the interviewees in The Big Question serve as kernels of thought-provoking theories, many of which will probably cause you to nod your head in approval. For example, one deeply religious admits that having more wealth and materials in life just gives you a heavy burden, but having more spirituality has the exact opposite effect. In one of the most insightful scenes, someone suggests that defining God is just as difficult as trying to put the definition of “love” into words—remember what happened in King Lear when King Lear asked his daughters to tell him why they love him? That question alone was the catalyst for the rest of the tragic events (including King Lear’s madness, of course). It seems that the more you think about explaining the divine or love, the more confused you get. However, at least it causes you think and feel and, above all, get to know yourself within this chaotic world. After all, according to the Chaos Theory, within chaos there you can also find order.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
IN A NUTSHELL: Provocative and enlightening! A must-see no matter what religion you are!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "B" Menu