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Do we have a purpose? Can we control our life, or do we utterly lose control as we realize our helplessness? The movie “Slipstream” by Anthony Hopkins deals with these questions in a slipstream of so many flashbacks and sequences that the viewer is constantly trying to keep up with what is going on in the film. Felix Bonhoeffer is the main character, and upon the opening of the movie, we find that he has apparently passed away. One of his friends, a beautiful blonde who loves to talk mentions a slipstream being an ancient Indian belief involving karma and death. She defines a slipstream as being a stream of sequences from past lives that come together when one dies.

Throughout the rest of the movie, we see scene after scene of utter chaos. There are so many characters who appear and reappear in different scenes and playing different characters, one is constantly asking himself, “Weren’t they so and so in the last scene?” In the end, the viewers are left wondering, trying to grip what exactly they just witnessed. I wanted desperately to ask Sir Anthony Hopkins just what his thought process was in making this movie. He put so much effort into it, writing it, putting the score together, acting in it and so much more, and I was left wanting to hear his point of view. There were references to death, to the absurdity of life and how Someone – a great “writer” in the sky or just one crazy man’s view of life – was in control of everything that happened. It seemed to have a wonderfully intriguing view on what life is and how we live it.

Questions of life and how we control it abound, and in this film the viewer will not find a pretty packaged answer at the conclusion. Rather, if you are like me, you will want to watch this movie several times over to grasp the explosion of ideas and themes that is the movie “Slipstream.” Thank you, Mr. Hopkins, for introducing me into the world of Sundance with your film!

– Joel Kennedy

Joel Kennedy is a Fuller Theology student and both a Sundance and Windrider participant.

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