The Nature of Existence
Best known for his documentary Trekkies, Roger Nygard returns to the documentary with The Nature of Existence in the hopes of finding the fundamental questions of existence. Interviewing a wide range of people, from spiritual gurus, artists and scientists to pizza chefs, Nygard searches for the foundational answers to explain our existence. Traveling all across the world, Nygard supposes that the real answers to our presence on earth may be found in the most unexpected places.
Nygard centers himself as the pivotal point of reference in the film, as it is as much his journey to discover the meaning of life as it is the subject of his film. He is going through his own spiritual upheaval, and the film’s flow and direction is guided by the narrative trajectory of his personal journey as a man on a quest to answer questions that might not have answers. As a personality, Nygard has the right amount of curiosity and naivety to sell the framing of this journey, as he enters each context with appropriate questions and respect for his interview subjects. In some ways, this film feels like an appropriate companion piece to Trekkies, as like Star Trek it seeks to explore new lands and new ideas with guided optimism and imagination.
Nygard allows his interviewees to speak for themselves, without challenging or arguing their points. A decision was made to allow them to stand as reflections of the individual at hand, supposing that the audience will interpret, dissect and break down the various arguments presented and find their own sense of truth. Nygard’s film is another exploration of obsession that we have as humans, and not one tied down to a particular series or cultural phenomena. It is about the crucial questions of our own life and inevitable death and what we are meant to do with the time that we have.
A wonderful, humorous and occasionally enlightening look at the serious questions we have about the purpose of life.