'Rooted in Peace': Film Review

A "what's it all about?" mishmash of use mostly to the filmmaker himself.
12/2/2016

Greg Reitman manages to get David Lynch, Deepak Chopra, Pete Seeger and others to chime in on his personal quest to make sense of the world.

Who is Greg Reitman, and why should anyone follow him on a quest to understand the transcendental, Gaia-encompassing truths he thinks might lead humanity to peace and health? God knows: Though the director finds it necessary to explain who Pete Seeger is when their paths cross, he hardly identifies himself in this well-meaning but inane doc — not that the lack of introduction keeps Reitman from sharing the details of his relationship troubles or belly-fat woes. This is filmmaking as self-therapy, and Reitman may be the only one who needs to see it.

But a slew of famous interviewees — from David Lynch to Ted Turner, Mike Love to Deepak Chopra — take Reitman's questions seriously enough to appear on camera, perhaps because all are sufficiently evangelistic about transcendental meditation or other increase-the-peace philosophies to talk to anyone who'll listen. Few of them, though, have previously appeared in such a muddled work as this film, which begins with the premise that planting trees will create world harmony but quickly gets distracted by everything from Hiroshima's destruction to fears about mercury dental fillings. Reitman delivers one over-earnest rhetorical question after another in an insight-free voiceover — and while the world's Big Questions surely merit our attention, Reitman leaves his take on them wide open for snide remarks when he asks "Does any of this really matter?"

Production company: Blue Water Entertainment
Director-screenwriter: Greg Reitman
Producers: Michael Perricone, Britta Reitman, Greg Reitman
Executive producers: Christopher Lindstrom, Joanna Plafsky, Ron Schlosser
Director of photography: Dane Lawing
Editors: Sebastian Vigneri, Tuffy Williams, Gail Yasunaga
Composers: Andrew Raiher

Not rated, 88 minutes

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