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2012: Science or Superstition (DVD Review)

17 Jan, 2009 By: John Latchem


Street 1/27/09
$19.95 DVD
Not rated

One of the fun tenets of fiction is the application of ancient insights to modern-day problems. Prophecies of apocalypse provide the basis for the upcoming film 2012, which derives its premise from the fact that the Mayan calendar ends on Dec. 21, 2012.

Whether these ancient cultures may have been onto something is the subject of 2012: Science or Superstition. The documentary drifts through various interviews from astronomers and researchers to shed some light on the Mayan methodology, motive and mentality.

The crux of the Mayan system was the observation of cyclical star movements they equated to ages of mankind. But did the 2012 end date refer to an apocalyptic event, or the dawning of an age of rebirth? The so-called experts describe a series of scenarios that are bound to amuse some and scare the crap out of others.

More relevant is the discussion of natural occurrences that could affect us in 2012. A lengthy segment is devoted to solar activity and radiation storms that could disrupt satellites and cause a hiccup to human civilization. Another discussion involves the shifting of Earth’s magnetic poles, which would have a similar effect.

It’s all an exercise in speculation, but it’s an entertaining diversion for enthusiasts.

The overarching consensus is that if any of this means anything, it’s that we have to do a better job being mindful of forces greater than us.

Extras on the DVD include bonus interviews and an interesting video tour of the Mayan temples of Palenque.

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