The Man from Earth

This is probably the best movie I have seen in my entire life. And chances are, assuming you are normal, you’ll hate it. The entire movie takes place in a single room. The entire movie is dialogue. There is no action, no side plots, no love story or intense music. It’s a philosophical discussion, straight and simple, about a professor who reveals to his friends that he has been alive for 14,000 years.

Or has he? That is the question the friends mull over. One of them is an anthropologists, another a psychologists, and so on. They are the best equipped people in the world to discuss that question, and yet they arrive to no answer. He has no artifact to prove it – since after all, spending years in prisons and lifetimes as a slave would see to that not happening. He cannot say something, or remember something that a normal human wouldn’t but could be proven – because he tells us that his memories are jumbled, and for almost his entire life he had no concept of history, or the future for that matter. What he knows of himself, that he was born in Central Europe, or that he traveled to India, is only known by his modern study of anthropology in conjunction with his jumbled memories.

He claims to have me the Buddha, and  to have traveled to Palestine at the time of Christ: because he was the Christ. He says he did no miracles, did no raising from the dead, or any of that. He preached a simple message: to be good to people. He challenged the authority of the Romans, and when they crucified him, they failed because he had learn certain breath techniques in India that gave the appearance of death. Then he rose again, and when some people saw him they refused to accept his story, and made up their own: that he was the Son of God.Can this be proven? No. Can this be disproven? No. All we have is the word of some friend of ours. But why would he lie? These are the questions the friends ask, and they arrive to no conclusion by the end the movie. Certain events happen at the end that prove his story true, but nevertheless, the philosophical discussion remains intact. Before certain revelations, the man finally says he was lying to satisfy one of his religious friends who bubbled with rage at his comments of The Messiah, but does him even saying that he was a liar prove he was lying? You could ask questions for eternity – but it remains a question of faith.

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