This film really is ‘A Trip to Infinity’


courtesy of Netflix

A clip from the movie “A Trip to Infinity” which explains the concept of black holes and infiniteness in the universe. The movie was released Sept. 26, 2022 and can be viewed on Netflix.

“A Trip to infinity” profiles famous mathematicians and physicists who are trying to explain the mystery around infinity. It is a documentary directed and written by Jonathan Halperin and his team, and was released on Netflix Sept. 26, 2022.

It starts with basics of infinity and goes on to explain the concept of black holes and the infiniteness of the universe. By the end of it, the film leaves you with deep thoughts that make you question everything around you, even your existence. You feel too little and too insignificant that you stop caring about your chores, your goals and whatnot. I, at least, forgot my assignments for a while.

This documentary was recommended to me because I find the concept of infinity interesting and talk about it all the time with people. I watched the film with a friend who does not know much math to get the layman’s perspective. And believe me, she talks about infinity with her other friends now just because she watched this documentary with me.

Despite how excited I sound, I was bored at the beginning where they cover the basics of infinity, but I started liking it toward the end where things really get thoughtful and complicated. It was the exact opposite for her. She lost interest toward the end because she could not grasp the complicated points being made.

What makes the documentary more inspiring and thoughtful is its philosophical statements and monologues. You want to pause the video and ponder upon the thoughts. You feel spiritual. You get close to being religious if you are not.

These are just a few examples of what I am referring to:

“To be conscious is to be wrangling with Infinity,” said Moon Dunchin, professor of mathematics at Tufts University.

“That feeling of ‘I am bigger because I know how small I am,’” said Rebecca Goldstein, an American philosopher.

There is one more part where they talk about how the universe does not care about us; how our existence does not matter, but what matters is love. I was awed by the way this was delivered. The fact that my friend was together with me made it more special. I just had one question in my mind. Why don’t we love more? Or why don’t we just love? Why do we even go to college?

Also, they talk about an apple, which can be anything in the world if left inside a box for eternity. It has to do with the particles that we are made up of. Everything in this universe is made up of the same particle in the core. It is just that we are arranged in different ways. It is the pattern of the particles that makes us different. Therefore, the apple left inside a box will decompose and rot away, and the particles involved will have to pick different arrangements with time. Thereby, the apple can even become a banana or anything in this world because eternity is not a brief period. Isn’t that amazing? If I had to choose my favorite scene from the documentary, I would choose this one. However, my friend did not get it in one go, and I had to explain it to her.

I also noticed that, once, a train passes by and interrupts the narrator in between shots, but for some reason they kept that part in. They could have easily edited it out. It makes no sense as to why they decided to keep it. Maybe they did it to make the documentary more alive and realistic. Otherwise, they have done an excellent job in terms of cinematography and camera work. They have nailed it with the animation part, too. Overall, if you are a math major, it is a must-watch documentary. And if you are not, it’s still a must-watch documentary.

Edited by Simran Shrestha, Glorianna Noland