I Origins

Mike Cahill’s movies are categorized as science fiction, but the scientific elements in them are subsidiary to his characters and, more importantly, his metaphysical concerns. Another Earth (2011), his impressive debut feature, used the idea of a duplicate planet earth to ponder the question of human choices and their consequences; this follow-up effort exploits the science of the human eye to consider the possibility of reincarnation. A molecular biologist (Michael Pitt), hoping to disprove once and for all the theory of intelligent design, decides to play God by creating a sighted creature through genetic engineering. In a lesser film this premise would play out in a beast with a million eyes; here it’s tempered by personal tragedy, and the movie culminates with the scientist learning to accept his own modest place in the universe.