"I can't accept that it happened for a reason, nor can I really accept that there is no reason. The only way to carry on is to be humble, and a little bit in awe of these things you can't really understand," observes James O'Reilly, contemplating a lightning strike. Accidents, chance, fate, and the elusive quest for understanding underpin Jennifer Baichwal's elegant and captivating new work, an exploration of the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning. For the writer Paul Auster, involved in a strike at age 14, it deeply affected his life and art. "It opened up a whole realm of speculation that I've continued to live with ever since," says Auster. The improvisational guitarist Fred Frith underscores how accidents spark "the beginning of something." Indeed, as a visually and aurally seductive reverie to storytelling, our attempt to make sense of things, Act of God may be Baichwal's cinematic ars poetica.
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