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Released by National Geographic Studios to theaters in museums and science centers, in giant screen 15/70 film and Digital 3D formats, and narrated by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD allows us to see the wondrous things all around us that are otherwise too small or too fast (or slow) for us to observe. Director Louis Schwartzberg and his team use both high-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy and nanotechnology to create a powerful natural-history film that reveals once-invisible dimensions of nature filled with beauty and wonder - and hold secrets crucial to our survival. The film shines a fascinating spotlight on objects and events that escape the naked eye every minute of every day.
Viewers will be transported to places they have never been before to see things that are beyond their normal vision - yet are literally right in front of their eyes. The filmmakers capture a Jesus lizard running on water, plants reaching toward the sun, slime creeping along in search of food. Things that occur in the flash of a microsecond - a rattlesnake striking, lightning descending from the sky (and ascending from the ground), popcorn popping - are slowed down to stunning effect. Super-close-ups of a spider's skin and a butterfly's wing are nothing less than photographic poetry.
Rooted in cutting-edge research, Mysteries of the Unseen World enters the microscopic world that was once reserved only for scientists, making us grasp the fact that the things we normally see every day are just a fraction of what there is to see. The film helps audiences understand the enormity of the world they can't see, a world that exists in the air they breathe - and on their own bodies. "These things crawl across your face as you sleep," says Whitaker as immensely enlarged photos of mites fill the screen.
Mysteries of the Unseen World, an unqualified box-office hit, has achieved the extraordinary "100% Fresh" rating from the film review site Rotten Tomatoes. The Hollywood Reporter's Frank Scheck called it "a near trippy experience ... genuinely innovative photography." Elias Savada of Film Threat said it's "an educational wonder, hopefully opening minds, young and old alike, to the world around us." "I have one issue with [the film]. It isn't long enough," wrote Linda Cook of Quad City Times. "Stunning in its images that reveal what we cannot see around us, this movie is so enthralling I wish it had at least one more hour added."