Director: Bernt Capra
Screenwriters: Floyd Byars, Fritjof Capra

Institute History

  • 1991 Sundance Film Festival


Discursive, intellectual films are rare creatures in the world of cinema. So rare, that in seeking comparisons, one has few examples from which to choose, My Dinner with Andre, perhaps some of Godard's or Bergman's work, but none of these are really analogous. Mindwalk is a deeply philosophical reflection on the structure of the universe and man's perception of it. A poet (John Heard), a politician (Sam Waterston), and a physicist (Liv Ullmann) debate on the nature of existence, ethical and moral acts, and political concerns ranging from the environment to Gorbachev. A somewhat-inconsequential dramatic framework places ex-candidate Waterston at his friend's (Heard’s) home outside of Mont St. Michel in France, looking to gain new insights and ideas after having lost in the recent presidential election. On an afternoon walk through the castle, they meet with Ullmann and begin a nonstop discourse on the interconnectedness of the world and the need for a new paradigm to approximate it. Their approach is enlightening and questioning, with Ullmann ultimately serving as the moderator who sets the table for discussion, Heard as the romantic individualist, and Waterson as the pragmatic (if not even a bit cynical) interrogator and challenger.

The film, despite it’s talkiness, is by no means impenetrable and actually is a rather enjoyable journey of discovery and intense deliberation. Its seriousness is a drawback only to those so accustomed to the mindlessness of normal genre films that they fail to allow the ideational content of the film to penetrate and satisfy. Without question Mindwalk provides a unique opportunity for engagement and will generate, I suspect, as much thoughtful discussion and meditation as it’s creators intended.

Sunday, January 20 7:00 p.m.
Prospector Square Theatre

Wednesday, January 23 4:00 p.m.
Prospector Square Theatre


— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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