Return to Source: Philosophy and The Matrix

Return to Source: Philosophy and The Matrix

2004, Philosophy  -   99 Comments
Ratings: 8.61/10 from 259 users.

This documentary goes over many philosophical concepts that inspired, and are presented in, the trilogy. They spend the first half on the original film, and the rest of the time then goes over parts 2 and 3, with a couple of things on the Animatrix shorts.

It consists of clips of aforementioned releases and interviews. It does a good job of informing the audience about the various thoughts, although it would obviously take far longer to go over all the symbolism in them, and one can ask the very appropriate question if something anywhere near that definite and final is even desired, by viewers or the Wachowskis alike.

That does mean that this is limited, but it is likely enough to enlighten and provide food for thought. In line with the series, this may provoke debate, rather than give answers set in stone. Whether one cares for this or not may depend on the extent of their knowledge on the subject, the old ideas, as well as how much they've thought about the presence of such in these three silver screen efforts.

Obviously, it also makes a difference if one particularly wants to think about the meanings one could possibly take out of them.

Directed by: Josh Oreck

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9 months ago

The movie has only one over-reaching philosophical message that is absolutely true: we live in a fake world. Every macro system is fake; the political, economic, financial, legal, and social systems are rigged for the evil banksters and their ilks. We "have been living in a dream world."

2 years ago

From a Judeo-Christian view:
The architect is represented as GOD The Father of all, the oracle is the devil inspiring those young children, predominantly of "eastern religions to rebel against him, Thomas Anderson (NEO) is the to-be-determined antichrist who is groomed, trained, and instructed on how to defeat the adversary to humanity, Agent Smith is the anointed messenger (Messiah) sent by the architect to restore balance and clone Himself in ALL of the world's inhabitants.

2 years ago

The Borg queen tries to flatter Data. He ask's, who are you, she says, I AM borg, to which Data replies, that is a contradiction in terms, correcting her, pointing out the Borg are a COLLECTIVE, (like the bro's), to which the queen says I AM BORG. Sounds like Data was the true ONE in this episode for sure, but I'll also point out, that Neo was not of a group mind like the bro's or borg, he was THE one, as his gang members said, while betting on him actually BEING the ONE. His gang havine doubt's as to him being that ONE.

I am not one with the bros, but I AM the one, knowing they can hear me, and respond every day to my thought's, proof? feel free to ask, but the bros need only ask bro ed ferguson and his live in bro john, they love to reply to the one voice in their mind, that never speaks, but is heard, and replied to every day as they wind me up till I wind them up stating dead head ed, repeat after me: ed, ed, ed, ed.... in my head ;)

3 years ago

matrix is made for all those slaves with shirt and tie, making them thinking there is hope, there is an escape, there is something more than this, but there is not and so they try a new cappuccino at starbuck and everything is great again, cattle

3 years ago

Matrix is not a movie it is lifechanging documentray which reflects the truth of human being ,the difference btw conscious human and unconscious one/prisoner.the concept and the procces of transition is shown very artisticly.

Fred Flintstone
5 years ago

YabadabaDoo. This is a good review. Eye's wide open, not with intrepidation, but elation! Thank you for an amazing adventure inside us. 'Education is a wonderful thing!' - A very close friend.

6 years ago

Every one of you, us, are correct.. which means for me to acknowledge all of this, we, you, also have to be wrong.
Life is energy. There is a positive and a negative for everything thing to have existed. We are Neo, Trinity, Morpheous, Agent Smith, The Oracle, The architect. All at once, and all at different times. The architect only sees his reality... Neo only sees his.. and Agent smith.... UNTIL they see each-others energy. Then energy becomes too positively charged, as we see in that moment we are all us.. we are all one. We always have been and will be.

... OR NOT :)

6 years ago

Why does it seem so difficult both to recognize and to accept the limitations of human consciousness? In the hierarchy of known species, we readily define the range and the limitations of intelligence for every known life form on the planet, that is, except for our own.
It is obvious that no life form can apprehend any state of consciousness superior to its own, and that even awareness of the existence of another species is always dependent on limits of range and perception. Why then, do we presume that no such limits apply to Homo Sapiens?

6 years ago

@Achems_Razor You obviously never heard of Amit Goswami and neither has Hawking if he said what you claims.

6 years ago

Wow matrix is quantum, the energy and connectivity of the reality.

7 years ago

What if I told you there is no truth

7 years ago

The irritating, constant background music in this documentary completely destroys the message .
Why do so many documentaries nowadays run a constant music score in the background?
Please stop !!!

7 years ago

what if philosophy is just following the protocols of the mind. If the mind is not perfect, can it be possible to get something perfect from it. why does it lose itself when presented with quantum evidence, could it be that it's 'wiring' or the biological circuity that allows its function is flawed and its impossible to see the flaw since its subjective to its criticism? what if

7 years ago

So many comments and not one mention of the anime.

Whats the name of the anime being showed here>?

7 years ago

This document is much blah about nothing. I wasted one hour of my matrixed life.

7 years ago

still one of the best movies ever.

8 years ago

wow...simply wow...i watched all the matrix movies when i was younger and didnt think about things like this so it didnt occur to me how much religion based it was, makes me want to go back and watch em again

Derek Seymour
8 years ago

fascinating! watching the matrix again

Minh Duong
8 years ago

I walked out of the first movie saying " Hmm. Buddism 101". Not 5' behind me someone said, "Wow, Christianity 101". LOL

9 years ago

I've watched this a number of times now and it's still quite good. It even makes the 2nd or 3rd Matrix movies easier to watch :)

10 years ago

free....your mind ?

10 years ago

What a find! Or...did it find me?

Mars Sentinel
10 years ago

if your answer is a paradox, your question is mal-formed. check premises and assumptions.

10 years ago

Blocked on "copyright" grounds in Canada. Ownership is pretty outdated, Warner Bros.

11 years ago


11 years ago

Thanks! No not travelling world, only about a half-acre; plants, stars, sun...working on my own assorted upload projects..I notice good new docs, but downloading is down to a trickle, another week before I look. BTW while this page was opening from disqus, it flashed a page of yours from Myspace for 2 seconds, have seen such flashes here before.
The science/religion thing is an interesting confusion!

11 years ago

as for the question about ( Wachowski Bros) they wrote this movie while getting stoned and manipulating the cerebrum.I don't think they intended that people would perceive this film as deep,this is a reflection of the world in most parts but deep i wouldn't call it deep.I would call it a true reflection of reality and control as used over the last few thousand years.

11 years ago

i saw myself in the mirror what i thought i was seeing was myself,i realized i wasn't me just the image of me that was created by synapses and neurons.I then asked who and what am i,what is my purpose i know full well all the answers to these questions.I do have fun with my brain sometimes!!! it controls and does 97% of my thoughts and auto muscle reflex.All or most humans get 3% to work with damn its like a crazy hard drive or operating system like vista (elephant stuck in mud).WHY DOES MY BRAIN USE ALL MY RAM!!! i would like a reformat and create a larger section drive please god you noob.Apple do a far better system and we evolved from monkeys!!!!!!.

Namit Sinha
11 years ago

quite watchable must watch for every one , and it has got excellent blending of information with movie , my view of THE MATRIX is changed forever GOOD WORK WHO EVER THE PUBLISHER OF THIS DOCUMENTARY IS

11 years ago

Just a question, do you think that the Wachowski Bros really intended this or really incorporated this much philosophy into the film or it's just how people / philosophers perceived it?

11 years ago

I love the way Philosophy opens minds

11 years ago

duplicate message-- deleted

11 years ago

Sadly it appears the majority of interviewees are quoting Western philosophers, while the concepts of the story are actually grounded in Eastern thought.... a realm of reality that western logic cannot penetrate.
The realm beyond language, in fact. Consciousness itself. IMO
OK, Ken Wilbur is the exception, right.

11 years ago

Finally , a philosophical discussion of the Matrix..... I've rewatched the Trilogy just recently, and its spiritual (philosophical) richness is astounding for a couple of geeky writers first major films.
Interestingly I've also just rewatched Little Buddha (1993) in which Keanu portrays Siddarth the Buddha, and mention an Oracle is is part of his story as well. (Not entirely a coincidence, I suspect.)
Not since Kubricks 2001 has an adventure film seemed this deeply spiritual/philosophical to me. The incessant fist fights-gunplay with Neo DID get somewhat weary to me, but I expect that was necessary to get it made.

Karen Fernández
11 years ago

how is spelled the other type of christianity that is mentioned in the second part??? sounds like asti, nasti, lasti.... anyone??

Karl Jacobs
11 years ago

religious philosophy, here it comes... Krishna & Co

11 years ago

Krishna's philosophy is the ultimate undefeatable philosophy.
When your finished with your illusionary movie world and want to know the absolute truth read any books on Krishna consciousness or read online and go to your local temple, other wise you stay in illusion no matter how many coloured pills you take.


11 years ago

And there was me thinking that the matrix was just another film... Some very interesting concepts and interpretations, and i dont think i'll ever see the matrix as just a film anymore.

11 years ago

I've always found the matrix very interesting, though admittedly....I think I might have a missed a few of it's (open to interpretation) meanings. What I got out of the matrix movies was, "Is it really okay to be independent and truly free, if it means contradicting my happiness?". Well, either way, I still don't plan on converting to Sheeple-ism. x'D

11 years ago

Some good points and interesting readings, what is lacking in this one, though, is any kind of critique of the Matrix as propagating a Platonic system. Certainly there is an acknowledgment of the Platonic "good" as related to "the One", the ineffable "Model" as it were, but nowhere is there the observation that this supposedly divine, certainly "heroic" subject is placed at the privileged peak of a hierarchy that has always been the moralizing road-map to despotism. The Matrix makes sexy our most innate colonial entitlements with a humorless, wooden delivery, bogged down in its own lead-weighted self-importance, and it does so because it assumes that its own masterful production values have made it a bona fide "Model" of sorts. Its surprising that, for all of the well spoken and intelligent people that they gathered to speak to this film, nobody raised the specter that the matrix "illusion" may well be the philosophy it pedals: one that denigrates this existence, the present alive for a speculative, inaccessible/transcendental other. Nihilism is the denigration of this existence in deference to a speculative other that denies difference, totalizes being into an "essential truth", and finds the present existence blame-worthy and in need of judgment. Too bad that that little bit of Nietzsche didn't sneak into and of the perspectives offered in this film

11 years ago


11 years ago

Just watched this. Very informative. I think the documentary is dead on about the ideas presented. I do not think we will ever see another film series which presents these ideas and concepts in such a stunning and imaginative way again. I remember when the Matrix first came out..the other movie studios were scrambling and trying to come out with "Matrix" like movies...."The Thirteenth Floor",etc.....and none could even come close to the Matrix in terms of dealing with these ideas.

11 years ago

12 years ago when I first saw the Matrix I saw those connections but I never bothered to watch the next two films, D'oh! but now I see that it is essential to watch them, and to reread the Upanishads, read some Taoism, and more Hindu mythology etc. Nice little Doc. Well done Vlatko!

Alex Wang
11 years ago

God Exists if you Believe. Everything is subjective. If you have an imagination powerful enough to delude you into thinking you can fly, YOU CAN FLY.

11 years ago

We can disregard all movies as works of art however sometimes parallels can be drawn with our own environment. If the book is still in print and the author is respected, the book will be advertised and referred to constantly, whenever opportunity arises. The printed book has much to answer for. A few further thoughts....

As far as I am aware the Wachowski Brothers had no religious ideas on their mind, when they produced the matrix series but we do know for sure, religious symbolism has been reinforced everyday of their lives and the spirit world is voiced by every religion. MAtki Bozej indeed!

Given that most people including religious folk are imprisoned in conformity and dependency, we can expect little in the advancement of research and enlightenment from these blockheads, living inside the prison walls of their own minds.

Human beings have restricted vision therefore we are not really in a position to judge our environment based on visibility alone. Technology has done a splendid job of hammering in the limitations of all human beings.

Invisibility? There has never been a positive and financial benefit in any social structure globally, for those ranked #1 to divulge information about anything, including the Old World Order (if you don't have knowledge of the Old World how can you claim something is New?), and any "supposed" matrix type structure that might exist, to the mass blockheads lower down at #10.

So for those claiming "nothing is happening" because they can not see it or they have no knowledge of it, think again. Stay humble, I know, that I know nothing!

lex lexich
11 years ago


11 years ago

Am watching, why is this doc. discussing christianity and their Jesus, can't believe it, no matter what you do, where you go, or what you watch, always the religee's are there.

This is about a simulated universe, computer generated, not formed by any hands of any invisible gods. And not similar to any religions even thou they try to make it so.

11 years ago

A refreshing documentary and a positive stimulant for watching the Matrix and V for Vendetta again.

Has anyone here found an answer yet, for: Why am I here? We don't seem to be doing much on planet earth, except exist.....

11 years ago


11 years ago

Did I miss something while I was asleep? These post seem to indicate I did :( Maybe it was just changed or deleted.