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Nobelity

Fearful of what the future might hold for his two young daughters, filmmaker Turk Pipkin seeks solutions for world problems in "Nobelity," an amiably sincere and politely thought-provoking docu in which the peripatetic writer-director plays genial talk-show host to various Nobel Prize winners. Pic will play best as consciousness-raiser (and fund-raiser) in non-theatrical outlets.

Fearful of what the future might hold for his two young daughters, filmmaker Turk Pipkin seeks solutions for world problems in “Nobelity,” an amiably sincere and politely thought-provoking docu in which the peripatetic writer-director plays genial talk-show host to various Nobel Prize winners. Pic will play best as consciousness-raiser (and fund-raiser) in non-theatrical outlets.

Physicist Steve Weinberg and living legend Desmond Tutu are among the notables who appear in often animated and always interesting discussions about famine, economic inequality, depleting oil supplies and nuclear proliferation. (The latter, warns Sir Joseph Rotblat, an original member of the Manhattan Project, may be more of a danger now than during the Cold War.) Unfortunately, Pipkin ends “Nobelity” on a syrupy-sweet note of “love is all you need” uplift. Pic is far more effective when it emphasizes the hard work required to do good. Jody Williams, a 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner for her work toward banning land mines, says it best: “There is nothing magical about change. It is getting off your ass and caring enough to take the first step to contribute to change on an issue you care about.”

Nobelity

  • Production: A FFM and Monterey Media presentation of a Words and Deed production. Produced by Christy Ellinger Pipkin. Executive producers, John McCall, Turk Pipkin. Directed, written by Turk Pipkin.
  • Crew: Camera (color, DV), Christy Pipkin; editor, Chet Hirsch; music, Graham Reynolds. Reviewed on DVD, Houston, March 27, 2006. (At SXSW Film Festival -- Spotlight Premiere.) Running time: 85 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Desmond Tutu, Steve Weinberg, Rick Smalley, Harold Varmus, Jody Williams, Ahmed Zewail, Wangari Maathai, Sir Joseph Rotblat, Amartya Sen.
  • Music By: