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Voyage of Time: Life's Journey (2016)

PG-13 | | Documentary, Drama | 4 May 2017 (France)
1:20 | Trailer
An exploration into our planetary past and a search for humanity's place in the future. With narration by Cate Blanchett.


Terrence Malick


Terrence Malick
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview:
Cate Blanchett ... Narrator (voice)
Jamal Cavil Jamal Cavil ... Early Human
Maisha Diatta Maisha Diatta ... Early Human
Yagazie Emezi Yagazie Emezi ... Early Human
Daryl James Harris II Daryl James Harris II ... Early Human
Sebastian Jackson Sebastian Jackson ... Early Human
Abraham Kosgei Abraham Kosgei ... Early Human
Runa Lucienne Runa Lucienne ... Early Human
Theo Bongani Ndyalvane Theo Bongani Ndyalvane ... Early Human (as Theophilus Bongani Ndyalvane)
Jejuan Plair Jejuan Plair ... Early Human
Gabi Rojas Gabi Rojas ... Early Human
Shaun Ross Shaun Ross ... Early Human
Mechelle Tunstall Mechelle Tunstall ... Early Human
Sanetra Stewart Sanetra Stewart ... Early Human
Blane E. Warrior II Blane E. Warrior II ... Early Human


An exploration into our planetary past and a search for humanity's place in the future. With narration by Cate Blanchett.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From so simple a beginning. See more »


Documentary | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a sequence of nudity, and some disturbing images | See all certifications »



France | Germany | USA



Release Date:

4 May 2017 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Voyage of Time See more »

Filming Locations:

Kenya See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby Atmos



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The visual effects team of the film were presented with four main visual challenges: (1) creating the astrophysical imagery before the solar system we know existed, and then conceiving and visualizing the futurescape of our universe, referencing the latest theories about our cosmic destiny; (2) representing the protoplanetary disk that formed and condensed to become our solar system and the planets it contains; (3) imaging the first unicellular forms of life in all their majesty and motion, which would learn to replicate and form increasingly complex organisms; and (4) re-conceiving animals that no longer roam the earth, convincingly blending them with analog equivalents where they exist today. See more »


[repeated line]
Narrator: Mother.
See more »


Referenced in WatchMojo: Top 10 Great Movies You Missed This Fall (2016) See more »


Cosmic Beam Journey
Composed and Performed by Francesco Lupica
Courtesy of Wonderment Music LTD
See more »

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User Reviews

Malick so desperately wants to be Ron Fricke. But Baraka this is not.
2 August 2018 | by jo_men_visstSee all my reviews

I knew mostly what I was in for. I've seen a few of Malicks other work. So I expected basically another glorified cinematography showreel. And for the most part that is what I got. And yes, it is stunningly beautiful.

Also, a couple of my favourite films of all time are the works of Ron Fricke. Beautiful imagery set to music and sound effects. So I'm no stranger to these "documentary" films. When they are left to their own devices they can be the closest thing to a transcendent experience that a stonehearted heathen like myself is ever going to achieve (hyperbolae, but I guess you get waht I'm getting at). This isn't the usual educational Macgivilray Freeman Docu short that usually has screentime at natural museums. So let's not expect that either.

What really holds this film (I have only been able to see the feature length Cate Blanchett version) back is essentially the narration. If Malick could just let the images speak for themselves it would not feel nearly as vapid and navel-gazing. Imagine if we had a chance to take in what we are seeing instead of hearing the interruptions of the rambling infantile questions directed at a anthropomosised mother earth. Just imagine then what kind of conclusions we could get to if not hindered by a director that, I'm starting to suspect, have some serious parental issues.

And on a smaller note I'd say that the random miniDV footage may have its place in the story that is being told. But I've seen quite a few IMAX documentaries and I suspect that in the giant screen 40 min version the miniDV is either not present at all, or if present the size of non IMAX footage is usually reduced to only a small part of the screen. This is done for two reasons, first, it lessens the dramatically pixelized and almost no dynamic range nature of the cheap miniDV. But mostly it helps contrast the grandure of the 15/65 footage. Having it as tall as the imax sourced parts does neither part any favor.

Also. It may be just me. But I feel that the character cgi wasn't as jawdroppingly seamless as the dinosaurs in Tree of Life (where we first got a real peak at this long gestating project). I see in the featurette that Douglas Trumbul wasn't the VFX supervisor, so that may be it? The space stuff is flawless but the cgi animals were surprisingly lacking in simulated weight and realism.

So yeah. Mostly jawdroppingly stunning visuals. Sound design will give a good home system a nice workout, the music is mostly christian church choirs which isn't really my thing but the main complaint is that darned nothingness of a narration.

Some films are released with separate music and effects tracks... This one would greatly benefit from a bonus feature like that!

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