Documentary Review: 'The Astrology of Pandemics'
This intriguing documentary argues that planetary alignment could play a role in earthly pandemics.
Can astrology be used to predict pandemics? It's a question most people probably haven't thought about lo these many months, but is at the epicenter of this documentary, made in response to COVID-19. Looking back at other pandemics throughout history, The Astrology of Pandemics sets out to see if astrology has a connection to how pandemics of the past progress--and if it could be used to predict and prepare for future epidemics. With astrology's status as a pseudoscience, it's almost a guarantee that there's going to be some people that will reject this notion on principle. I must confess, as open-minded as I try to be, there are parts of this film that had me thinking, "OK, you're starting to lose me with how far you're reaching..."
But regardless of your personal feelings about astrology and pseudoscience, The Astrology of Pandemics is fascinating and informative in how it looks back on pandemics throughout history and how they tie in with astrological phenomena. Even with my skepticism, I must say it is fascinating to see how the alignment of a solar eclipse and three planets (Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto) always seem to correlate with a pandemic's spike. Still, there are certain points and connections made that feel too outlandish to buy into--namely because they sound like the concept of unforeseeable human behavior is left out of the equation. Given how the COVID-19 crisis has shown just how much impact humans have on the severity of a pandemic, you'd think that would find its way into the conversation. But it doesn't, and the documentary's argument is left with a hole the Milky Way could fit through.
Making up for that oversight, however, is the documentary's attention to research in regards to the relationship between astrology and pandemics. The film goes out of its way to elaborate on how specific alignments have seemed to predict how a pandemic will progress. From the Black Death to the AIDs epidemic to COVID-19, it appears as if Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto have always been in conjunction with both a solar eclipse and the appropriate Zodiac signs right when severe pandemics take a nasty turn. It's not hard proof, and there are parts of the documentary where those without foreknowledge in astrology are bound to get lost. But for the most part, the information is fairly accessible and might just get you wondering if astrology could be the key to helping us be better prepared in the event of future pandemics.
(An even more shocking piece of evidence that speaks to astrology's credibility in pandemic planning: a statement made by late French astrologer André Barbault. Barbault predicted that a conjunction between Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto would cause a 2020-2021 pandemic...in 2011)
On the technical side of things, The Astrology of Pandemics only has one notable scrape to its name. Throughout the documentary, there are these periodic pauses in the narration, with some lasting longer than others and/or being weirdly placed. As for the narration itself, Todd Kozinka has a strong and appealing voice as he guides viewers through the documentary's wealth of information. It's a good thing he was chosen to be primary narrator over Aretha Smith, as her robotic tone would've gotten even more grating had she been given opportunities to speak. Given how little narrating she does get to do compared to Kozinka, it's anyone's guess why a second narrator was even hired in the first place.
If you're (for whatever reason) super opposed to astrology, this documentary likely isn't going to change your mind. The more idiosyncratic of the film's claims will only exacerbate such disbelief, as will all the talk about the significance of Zodiac signs. But if you go into The Astrology of Pandemics with a willingness to open your mind to the possibilities it raises, you might be surprised by what it has to say. Well-researched with relatively concise delivery, this documentary makes for a thought-provoking downtime watch. It might even inspire you to do your own research on the topic when all's said and done. And the final questions posed by the documentary's conclusion are sure to weigh on many a viewer's mind: will there be a 2036 pandemic as foretold by astrological research? And if so, will we be more prepared for it than we were for last year's COVID-19 outbreak?
Score: 7 out of 10 90° angles.