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Act of God2009

  • 3.2
Is being hit by lightning a random natural occurrence or a predestined event? Accidents, chance, fate and the elusive quest to make sense out of tragedy underpin director Jennifer Baichwal’s captivating new work, an elegant cinematic meditation on the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning. To explore these profound questions, Baichwal sought out riveting personal stories from around the world, from a former CIA assassin and a French storm chaser, to writer Paul Auster and improvisational musician Fred Frith. The philosophical anchor of the film, Auster was caught in a terrifying and deadly storm as a teenager, and it has deeply affected both his life and art: “It opened up a whole realm of speculation that I’ve continued to live with ever since.” In his doctor brother’s laboratory, Frith experiments with his guitar to demonstrate the ubiquity of electricity in our bodies and the universe. Visually dazzling and aurally seductive, ACT OF GOD singularly captures the harsh beauty of the skies and the lives of those who have been forever touched by their fury.

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Member Reviews (5)

A collage of lightening experiences. Not enlightening, not well put together and in fact rather boring.

I liked the Documentary part. I wish there were no subtitles.


wow. Elegant images of nature and lightning. The stories are pretty spectacular too. There are a couple things that feel a little long and the musician seems out of place, but makes for a great soundtrack.

There was a lot of strange music and film of beautiful storm-scapes. There was also some talk about lightning strikes, but there wasn't enough of it and it felt disjoint.