The documentary features Mary Rodwell, who is described as, “Australia’s leading authority on extraterrestrial phenomena” and her son Chris. Mary has devoted the past fifteen years of her life to the study of alien visitation and her son is a Veterinarian.
The hour long film follows the two of them for 8 days as they struggle to reconcile their differences regarding their belief in Aliens visiting the Earth. Chris has been trained to consider things from an evidential viewpoint and that’s really where the crux of the conflict lies as he seeks some concrete evidence that will help him understand his mum’s obsession.
The reason I wanted to watch the film really had less to do with the relationship between the two protagonists and more to do with the whole question of belief that surrounds the Alien experience.
Recently I’ve started to wonder just what it would take for people to believe in an extraordinary event. In a world where photographic and video proof is so easily faked. As I write this review the question of belief and the definition of provability are as elusive as they have always been. President Obama recently released his long form birth certificate which within hours was being called a fake. Osama Bin Laden was killed and the time, place and nature of his passing are being questioned on a daily basis.
If we live in a world where the POTUS is routinely called a liar and fabricator over something as innocuous as a birth certificate what hope do we have of convincing anyone of anything as outrageous as Aliens in our backyards and airspace ?
In fact, so doubtful are we now, that we even anticipate and call into question things that we suspect might happen. Project Blue Beam is said to be due anytime soon and will be a holographic projection that will be used to coerce the population into war with an imaginary enemy. So we even cast our veil of disbelief on events before they happen.
But in all honesty I have to admit that I’m already in a state of mind where I have very little faith in my own senses. That’s because there are numerous very clever tests on the internet that can demonstrate my fallibility in sound, vision and perception ( I still can’t believe that I didn’t see the gorilla ) . I’ve heard words change how they sound when in reality the only thing that changed was the image of the lips making the sound.
In addition scientists are debating whether the universe I live in is holographic, multidimensional or a simulation. Quite honestly, with all the uncertainty surrounding us today I often wonder why I bother getting out of bed.
I have to state, here and now, that I’m with Mary on this one. I have no doubt that something is going on with Aliens. I am personally convinced that they are here, though I don’t know why and I don’t know where they are from. What convinces me is the sheer number of sightings, the radar images, the personal testimony of people who seem genuine, but I accept that none of that is proof. So is it provable?
Back to the film. Mary talks to Chris and says she will do her best to provide evidence he can believe in. The first “witness” tells his story and Chris seems impressed. Unfortunately this first witness fails a polygraph test.
Mary keeps on plugging away. She has a debate with a college professor. The debates audience almost unanimously sides with the professor. Chris is visibly moved by seeing his mum ridiculed and even asks some pertinent questions of his own to help even the odds.
I’ll stop there with the narrative because I don’t want to reveal the conclusion but I will say that what makes this film work for me is the obvious love and affection that Chris and Mary have for one another. The synopsis tries to make the film more exciting by stating that this is “their last chance” and even that Chris might have his mum committed, but that isn’t really accurate.
The film is about two people who with grace and dignity attempt to bridge a gulf. It’s a warm and affectionate look at one aspect of the human condition.