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Black and white image of men at table, cigarette smoke curling around them. An older man stands behind the table, watching.

The Universal Theory
(Die Theorie Von Allem)

  •   Timm Kröger
  •   Germany, Austria, Switzerland

Not content to let Oppenheimer ask all of the big questions, German director Timm Kröger combines old Hollywood style with heady metaphysical substance in the intellectual thriller The Universal Theory. Set in 1962 at a quantum mechanics conference in an isolated lodge nestled amid the towering landscapes of the Swiss Alps, The Universal Theory is the story of a gifted young physicist, his curmudgeonly mentor, and an enigmatic jazz pianist who knows things about our wunderkind scientist that he’s never told another living soul.

Driven by mind-bending twists, improbable coincidences, and Hitchcockian suspense, The Universal Theory is a captivating nesting doll of a film that nods to the German masters of old Hollywood and considers the metaverse theory from a refreshingly intelligent point of view. Kröger — himself also a cinematographer — films his tale with an eye for the majestic natural beauty that surrounds our characters, effectively evoking both the paranoid postwar era and the brain-tickling complexity of theoretical physics.

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International Competition Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation

Film Supporter

Logo: German Film Office 141x125

Event Information

Sunday, October 15, 2023

  •   118 minutes
1500 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60610 United States



Cinema/Chicago is committed to fostering an inclusive and accessible environment at all our programs and events. All event venues are fully wheelchair accessible, with no-step entrances or ramp access and elevators. All venues offer wheelchair-designated spaces, companion seating, easy-access theater seating, and accessible restrooms. For accommodation requests, please email us at access@chicagofilmfestival.com, call us at 312-683-0121, x108, or complete our Accommodation Request Form.

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