Bloodline's Goofy Puzzles

New doc explores The Da Vinci Code

Faintly ridiculous but strangely watchable, director Bruce Burgess's documentary explores the controversial theory that powered Dan Brown's pulp juggernaut The Da Vinci Code: that the Catholic Church supposedly covered up Jesus Christ's child with secret wife Mary Magdalene. While other investigative-nonfiction filmmakers pop blood vessels exaggerating the magnitude of their paltry findings, it's some relief that Burgess, who serves as Bloodline's on-screen narrator, remains doubtful of the "proof" he uncovers, such as buried bottles in France with treasure-map clues leading to embalmed corpses. But considering that he has previously made films about Area 51 and Bigfoot, it's hard to take his role as a skeptic that seriously—more likely, he just enjoys milking an audience's conspiracy-theory fascination without having to worry about producing meaningful results. Despite the fact that several people who claimed to possess evidence about the cover-up have died under mysterious circumstances, Bloodline is less a gripping exposé than a goofy National Treasure–style puzzle film mixed with a sub–Nick Broomfield survey of some admittedly oddball individuals. But when Burgess tries to craft an ambiguous, even ominous ending out of his inconclusive study, it seems painfully ironic that a film questioning other people's faith would ask us to take a documentary this slipshod at its word.

 
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