Knowing (2009) Poster


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  • Knowing is based on a story originally written by American novelist Ryne Pearson. After a number of rewrites, the script that eventually went to film was written by British screenwriter Stuart Hazeldine and Australian Alex Proyas (who also directed the movie).

  • There are many theories surrounding the Mayan Long Count Calendar, a system of recording dates used by the Mayan people around 3000 BC. The Mayans were, for a great deal of human history, the most advanced astronomers and developers of systems for predicting eclipses and other events of cosmic significance that they recorded in various documents. In the late 20th century and onward, many theories have been developed regarding the supposed "end date" of the Mayan Long Count Calendar. The current b'ak'tun "cycle", the 13th, ends on the 21st of December, 2012. The Mayans considered this a historic event, as the previous world (the third attempt, by that stage) was written off as a failure by their gods after its 13th b'ak'tun. Our current world was considered to be a success, and therefore humans were created in it (c. 3000 BC). Making it into a 14th b'ak'tun was to be considered an additional sign that the universe was "correct", and would be cause for a great celebration, similar to 20th century celebrations of the Millennium. Mayan predictions for events continue into the future, either as a new 14th b'ak'tun or as a "distance date" from the end of the 13th b'ak'tun. Many New Age theories exist, however, that suppose the universe or world will come to an end in that date. These vary from a solar disaster, as in this movie, to a shift in the magnetic poles or rotational axis of the Earth, arrival of a rogue planet or brown dwarf, some sort of spiritual singularity, etc.

  • The aliens are known as Nordics as seen in European UFO sightings. Typically they are the most human-looking aliens, looking like tall, white men. The aliens in their "natural" form are symbolic of angels, as seen by their wings and the Eden symbolism of the finale. They could also be considered Hyperversal aliens from a previous Universe cycle whose lack of a physical form and supreme knowledge are most notable.

  • The whisper people gave him a premonition, an image of what was going to happen, to show him that animals as well as people were going to die in the end. That might have been what convinced him to save the rabbits. That may also suggest that people on the other ships have saved animals too (ala Noah's ark), which some people assume.

  • Presumably, they were a separate code of events for the new world.

  • Lucinda was driven crazy by the voices and surely understood what the numbers or whispering meant. Indeed, in her bedroom, John finds a wall covered of newspaper's snippets about a lot of disasters related to the numbers. She also understood that something really bad would occur on October 19th, but the reason why she wasn't saved is left unanswered. It probably had to do with the fact that she could not cope with knowing the world was going to end, so she killed herself before she could be saved. It can be speculated that Abby had a striking resemblance to Lucinda and perhaps this is to show that somehow Lucinda was "saved" in the form of Abby. Also, Lucinda was a child in the 1950s, so she was obviously a full grown adult by the time the world ends. As we see in the film, the aliens only save the children. So it's possible that Lucinda was simply a messenger the aliens hoped that perhaps somebody would figure out what the dates and predictions meant back when Lucinda wrote them. and possibly with the 50 years of advanced knowledge of the world ending, the human race could develop a way to prevent it. Unfortunately the predictions were buried in the time capsule and not discovered until just weeks before the world ended, so the aliens were forced to implement plan B.

  • It is never told to us in the movie, therefore we can only speculate. Aliens, strangers, angels, some sort of hybrid, we don't know because they don't say. Most logically, it could be said that they were both. The whisper people do seem to resemble angels to an extent, however much of what is seen doesn't fit any conventional depictions. The fact that they hide their true forms and use what appear to be some forms of spaceship to travel bring up images of aliens. They most certainly seemed to be leaving our galaxy rather than ascending to a literal depiction of Heaven. The whisper people in the film are apparently supposed to represent Nordic aliens, which are described as looking the most human and have the most connotations in relation with human religion and mythology.

    The craft in which the whisper people take the children closely matches Ezekiel's vision of a chariot made of many angels. The connection is clearly drawn for us with the picture of Ezekiel's Wheel in Lucinda's abandoned house. That picture is actually a reverse copy of Matthäus Merian's 17th century engraving of Ezekiel's "chariot vision." Ezekiel describes the lowest part of the chariot as a wheel inside a wheel. He describes four angels, each with four wings, and tells us that their wings fold up along the length of the chariot. What we see in the film is a fairly good rendering of Ezekiel's vision—whether one considers the vision to have been of angels or of aliens.

    It is also worth noting that the children's names are laden with biblical meaning. The Caleb of the Bible, who was with Moses in Exodus, led the tribe of Judah, and because of his faith that the Israelites could claim the new homeland given them by God, he was one of only two adult Israelites allowed to survive their forty years of wandering in the wilderness. Caleb is called "my servant" by God, an honor previously reserved only for Moses. It seems likely that the character's name was chosen to echo these themes of faith and survival. Abigail (for which Abby is a nickname) in the Bible is the wife of King David and daughter of Jesse—and Jesus' descent is traced from King David and "Jesse's Seed".

    Finally, it seems to be the filmmakers' intent to link the story to the biblical end times prophecies (and therefore to angels, whatever they may be) with the last scene, in which John Koestler returns to his father, a pastor, and to faith in biblical prophecy and an afterlife. However, the film seems to leave the decision up to the discretion of the viewer. Whilst the definitive answer is not provided—i.e., the whisper people are never called angels or aliens—the above explanations could be interpreted as the most sensible conclusions.

  • The black stones came from the place where the ship was stationed; you can see them clearly as the ship takes off. Black stones just meant that the "aliens" were nearby or had been there, etc. they just serve as a sign of the "aliens" presence.

  • It's possible. Or maybe they sent different kinds of messages to different people. That's very possible since not as many people are as smart as John. They might not have figured out the messages from the numbers. There could have been all kinds of messages that were sent depending on the what the people receiving them were like.

  • It's hard to say. It could be one of those or it could be something totally different. Things don't always have to happen the same way twice. The tree's fruit might give another ability to the person who eats it.

  • Not necessarily. Don't forget that there were other ships landing there as well. Assuming the other ships also held people (not just animals), it's unknown how many others were chosen to start over on the new planet. Caleb and Abby will probably stay together for awhile, however, just because they knew each other from the previous world.

  • Maybe the other children were children with various types of knowledge and skills. Maybe the whisper people chose some specific children who would be great at working together. They took children because they wanted a fresh start. Adults would just go to the new planet and try to recreate what they had on earth. Children are more of a blank canvas and will have a more open-mind as they grow older and learn to understand why the aliens do this. It's also entirely possible the aliens don't simply leave the children there to fend for themselves, it's possible they stay in the skies and observe and then come down to the planet or the "new Earth" to teach the kids how to build and how to survive. This is part of the Ancient Astronaut Theory. British author Arthur C Clarke wrote a novel Childhood's End (1963) in which aliens enforce peace on Earth so that the children can develop their psychic powers. The children are then taken away from the parents by the aliens to protect them. The earth is then destroyed by the children wielding their, by now, incredible powers, and they leave the earth in their new ethereal form.

  • With its Hebrew origins and pronounced kay-leb that translates as Dog; Heart. Quote: In the Old Testament, Caleb and Joshua were among the Israelites who left Egypt for Canaan with Moses. They were the only two who lived to see the promised land. Caleb is sometimes translated as faithful or loyal, probably because a dog displays these attributes towards its master. The correct translation, however, is dog; several figures throughout the Old Testament have names that correspond to an animal.

  • The story of the film is strictly fiction. However it is based on the interesting possibilities presented in the "Ancient Astronaut Theory" also known as the Ancient Alien Theory. There is also a History Channel show called Ancient Aliens which goes in depth with this theory. To sum it up, the theory suggests that many of the wonders of the world and biblical and tribal stories are based on true events. But what ancient man perceived as Gods descending from the heavens were actually aliens who helped teach man to build and evolve into the dominant species on the planet.

  • Though not specifically shown, It's entirely plausible the aliens' technology restored Caleb's hearing. If he needs to communicate with the aliens, of course, this isn't a problem since it's all telepathic.


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