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Review: ‘The End of Quantum Reality’ induces its own existential crisis

Wolfgang Smith in the documentary ‘The End of Quantum Reality’
Wolfgang Smith in the documentary “The End of Quantum Reality.”
(Cinelounge Releasing)

This ambitiously titled documentary never really makes the reasons for its existence clear. “The End of Quantum Reality” is ostensibly about mathematician-philosopher-physicist Wolfgang Smith, but the uninitiated (anyone who isn’t already his acolyte and familiar with the movie’s physics vocabulary) will finish no more enlightened than when the film started.

Director Katheryne Thomas and writer-producer-narrator-friend of the subject Rick DeLano offer little biography or insight into what makes Smith significant, other than his opposition to mainstream physicists and his influence on Olavo de Carvalho (who in turn influenced Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, which the film perhaps strategically refrains from mentioning). Instead, it glances over his life and beliefs, while bouncing around the history and theories of physics, moving as erratically as quantum particles.

Moments in the film look good in isolation, with sophisticated graphics throughout. The animation, however, seems to serve more as hand-waving, distracting rather than illuminating. Shots of DeLano speaking on a mountain waver and wobble for no discernible reason, unless Thomas is intending to leave the audience discombobulated enough to buy into what they’re watching.

The last film from the director and producer, “The Principle,” was about geocentrism (which makes a brief appearance here) and was disavowed by both its narrator and a number of the experts who were in it. “The End of Quantum Reality” might find interest in the more conspiracy-minded corners of Reddit, but others will struggle to make it through its opaque 86 minutes.

‘The End of Quantum Reality’
Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Playing: Starts Jan. 17, Arena Cinelounge Hollywood
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