Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this documentary, director and screenwriter James Toback asks a wildly divergent group of people to ponder some basic philosophical questions for his camera -- How did the world begin? How did we get here? What's the purpose of life? What do we love, what do we fear, and how would we spend the rest of our lives if we could choose the circumstances ourselves? Toback's interview subjects range from a pair of ten-year-olds, a nun, a medical school student, and a holocaust survivor to basketball star Darryl Dawkins, movie producer Don Simpson, boxer and author Jose Torres, and classical violinist Eugene Fodor. Some of the responses are funny, some are moving, and most say a great deal about the people who give them, but ultimately most of Toback's subjects come to a similar conclusion -- we all have ideas, but no one really knows for sure. The Big Bang also includes, as a framing device, footage of Toback attempting to secure financing from a producer who sounds a bit dubious about the commercial prospects of a film in which a bunch of people discuss philosophy for 80 minutes.