Every so often, I like to fall down a movie’s rabbit hole. We all like when a movie can take us to an escape, but I’m talking about being taken completely out of my element to be enlightened about a subject I’m absolutely clueless about. I’ve taken this trip with faith-based movies before (notably War Room): I wasn’t moved by the movie but I appreciated the experience. I was hoping Stronger By Stress was going to have the same effect on me. However, I walked away from the movie having been left hanging.
Stronger By Stress is a talking-head documentary about “biohacking”, the act of exploring organic techniques to improve one’s wellbeing. The doc works with a chapter-based structure as experienced individuals explain different holistic methods that could rejuvenate and expand the viewer’s outlook on personal health and life itself. The problem with Stronger By Stress is that the advice either sounds too unqualified or too late to the game.
As someone who isn’t involved in the “biohacking” community, I have no choice but to assume everyone featured in the documentary knows what they’re talking about. But despite Stronger By Stress having a slick look that I liked, the explanations are not delivered to camera confidently and first-time filmmaker Andzei doesn’t lend any directorial support. However, the interviewees do offer familiar solutions; like meditation, smart eating habits, and sleep routines. But even though these pointers are more assured, this advice isn’t exactly breaking news. Watching experts in Stronger By Stress describe common activities as though they are new discoveries is incredibly awkward to endure, and provides nothing for the audience to learn from.
Just as the film’s opening disclaimer reads, movie goers will learn more by consulting a medical expert or physician about these “biohacking”. methods. Stronger By Stress is a disappointing resource.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie