Review: Chasing Einstein (2020)

‘Chasing Einstein’ takes us into the world of physics and the brilliant scientists who everyday try to challenge or prove Einstein’s fundamental theory of gravity.

Directed by: Steve Brown, Timothy Wheeler.

Country: United States.

Genre: Documentary.

Running time: 82 minutes.

I think that, as a civilized society, one of the most powerful obstacles we face is the incapacity to acknowledge science as the main “current” for progress and recognition of truth. We keep believing in politics, messages thrown at us centuries ago by thinkers who simply thought they had the purest form of truth in their hands. If we face social politics and science against each other, it’s an irrelevant battle. But which element is more important?

It’s something very hard to explain, and certainly the review you are reading today has nothing philosophical about it, but I believe we have lost the grasp by which we take science as the most significant resource of all. We keep believing in gods, myths, legends unconditionally.

Chasing Einstein makes me proud. It’s a documentary about science without the riddles of science being displayed in the screen every few minutes. It’s also a documentary about humanity’s search for truth in its explainable form, the demonstration of theories. And it makes me proud because I’m part of today, the era in which we made attempts at proving and disproving as necessary. Scientific progress and technology achievements are tragically overlooked, when they actually should be celebrated.

When the documentary could remain behind a facade of scientific mumbling, it prefers to disobey the rules of its genre and its peers. The testimonies are what’s important here. The advancements are clear, well known, and even part of today’s scientific culture. But the people behind those experiments are the main fuel. We go from well known scientists, to the underdogs that are trying to solve mysteries and challenge theories generally accepted. The optimistic aspect of their lives is contagious.

And the matter of discussion is a mystery of countless limbs and possibilities. Einstein’s theory of gravity and what “drives” it. On one side the ambitious attempt at discovering dark matter as something tangible, and on the other side, there are those who believe in another theory that could shift paradigms and well… change everything else about something that has dominated civilization for centuries. To call this an important study is a terrible understatement.

Minds and opinions colliding like particles in a desperate study for seeking the truth. Chasing Einstein regards a subject constantly overseen by our interests and curiosity. In the darkest rooms of science, the new discoverers are searching. Sometimes their convictions are shattered (a very powerful scene in the documentary when a group of young scientists realize their work has been fruitless). And sometimes their optimism is so powerful and convincing, they make us part of their quest irrevocably. It’s quite important to understand that in Chasing Einstein there are no clear enemies, fighting over who’s right. They are only trying to understand what they have had to accept without question.

It’s hard to to make an interesting documentary about science and all its relatives. But Chasing Einstein accomplishes this with an ease not often seen in the genre. The key: the human side behind tons of metal put together. The human component in the permanent discussion of what makes us be an important presence in the Universe, and all the galaxies we see and yet don’t understand. Our imagination is infinite, and someone out there, is trying to give it some shape. To say “thanks” is too little of an affirmation.


A trailer

With information from YouTube, IMDB

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