What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole

Rated NR 2006

The second installment in what has become a franchise of oversimplified science, outlandish speculation, and woo-woo spirituality is not a sequel. It's a revision. Shamelessly, Rabbit Hole uses extensive footage from the first film, including the entire condescending narrative about a depressive named Amanda (Marlee Matlin), and offers almost nothing by way of novelty. Instead, it tacks on an additional 40 minutes of interviews and animation, expanding upon its specious ideas and reiterating the same misleading messages peddled by its predecessor. And yet, Rabbit Hole is not 100 percent bunk. Plenty of its claims are worthwhile: that addiction to certain emotional patterns prevents people from being present for themselves and others, for instance, and that early experiences create neural networks in the brain that color the way a person sees herself thereafter. (A girl who is ostracized on the playground becomes a woman who feels like an outsider.) The film plays fast and loose with both science and spirituality, and so many of its claims are unsubstantiated, overgeneralized, and wrong.

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