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GENESIS

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Nine years after their wondrous, super-close-up film essay on life in a field, Microcosmos -- which found drama in the travails of insects and snails -- filmmakers and biologists Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou present new views of our world and of ourselves. With African griot Sotigui Kouyaté as narrator, Genesis sketches out life - from its origins in cosmic dust through the development of land-based species. As Kouyaté explains life through mythical abstracts, the film unspools gorgeous footage of nature to reinforce the words' physical truths. A rivulet of water through the sand is as the passage of time -- as it also is akin to the movement of blood through our veins. Primarily the film uses fantastic animals - exotic crabs, brightly hued birds, monitor lizards - to document the universality of life (birth, function, mating), but I found one of the most potent images to be as unlikely an illustrator as it is common: a close-up of two clusters of foam upon the water. In French, with subtitles. Mon., Dec. 26, through Thu., Dec. 29. Regent Square (AH)

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