An intimate, informal portrait of an artist as historian. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author (John Adams) and acclaimed narrator (The Civil War and The American Experience) welcomes viewers into his public and private world, exhibiting the infectious curiosity, humor and humanity that have defined his work and life.
McCullough climbs the same Philadelphia church steeple tower Adams did two centuries earlier and studies an original letter Adams wrote to his wife the day before July 4, 1776. He also sings, paints and reflects on his undiminished enthusiasm for writing while sitting in his tiny "world headquarters" (shedlike though not a shed, he insists) on the grounds of his home. McCullough provides an insightful, anecdotal look into his life and career, while displaying a refreshing approachability and genuine interest in people he meets along the way.
A cast of fine artists and eccentric scientists have devoted their lives to the unlikely medium of modern origami. Through their determination and passion to reinterpret the world in paper, these very likeable characters bring forth amazing art- a fascinating mix of sensibilities towards realism, creativity and meaning. Fusing geometry, mathematics, engineering, algebra, number theory, medicine, science, sculpture, form and function, these artists create amazing art in schools, their homes and their jobs.
The film paints an arresting portrait of the creativity that fuels these remarkable minds and ultimately culminates with the idea that art and science are but two different interpretations of the very same world around us. The medium of folding a blank, uncut square of paper emerges as a metaphor for creative potential and transformation.