Call it the flattening effect. The process by which mystery is leached from life and replaced by weary literalism. Age is the primary culprit, abetted by desensitizing technology and the reductive shove of science. At a certain point, thought becomes synapse, talk becomes tweet, and all Netflix movies seem to merit three stars. Gradually the world recedes from your touch until the only things that still feel real are sex and video games.
Such, at any rate, is the case for Oliver Broudy when he stumbles upon the most grotesque instance of flattening imaginable. An object so dense and so uniquely revealing of our times that it is itself a kind of mystery. Forthwith, Broudy sets out for the Czech Republic to confront the object - along with its aging creator. To him is put the final question: Once life's mystery has faded, can you ever get it back again?
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