The Man from Earth

The Man from Earth is a quirky movie that you should see if you like talky films that make you think. Skip it if you insist on visual effects, exciting plot, and a clean resolution at the end. Clearly a low-budget effort, the entire film is a conversation among a group of college professors holding a going-away party for one of their colleagues, who has been teaching with them for ten years without apparently aging. It soon develops that his colleague claims to be 14,000 years old, and he has to keep moving every ten years or so before people get suspicious of the fact that he doesn’t seem to get older. Because almost all of the characters consider themselves scientists, they are of course skeptical and demand lots of evidence, which they then manage to explain away. (I say “consider themselves scientists” because they are mostly not hard scientists — biologists, chemists, physicists — but some are in related fields. One is an anthropologist, one an archeologist, one a historian, one a Christian theologian.) The acting can be a bit wooden at times, but I for one did not find that to be a problem; these are supposed to be professors after all, but we’ve all known some professors who are a bit wooden but nonetheless real. Anyway, if you’ve ever enjoyed sitting around with friends and discussing philosophy and science, you’ll enjoy The Man from Earth. It reminds me of My Dinner with André; if you liked that movie, you’ll like this one.

Categories: Movies & (occasionally) TV