Step 1: The Creative Process


Develop Personal Questions for Inquiry

“Power questions question power.”

In the 1999 film “The Matrix” the main character, Neo, is profoundly disturbed by the society he lives in, but he doesn’t know why. He feels stuck and dissatisfied with the life he lives. He knows something is wrong with the world but can’t put his finger on what it is. The storyline of the Matrix is driven by one initial inquiry question. The question and the hero's search for its answer is what the movie is about.


Neo meets a woman named Trinity and feels an instant connection to her. Trinity is driven by the same question that drives Neo, but unlike him, she seems to have found the answer. They meet face to face for the first time at a party. Here’s how the movie script reads:


INT. APARTMENT


An older Chicago apartment: a series of halls connects a chain of small high-ceilinged rooms lined with heavy casements.


Neo stands against a wall, alone, feeling completely out of place. He is about to leave when he notices a woman staring at him.


The woman is Trinity. She walks straight up him.


The MUSIC is so loud they must stand very close, talking directly into each other's ear.


TRINITY

Hello, Neo.


NEO

How did you know that—


TRINITY

I know a lot about you. I’ve been wanting to meet you for some time.


NEO

Who are you?


TRINITY

My name is Trinity.


NEO

The Trinity? The trinity that hacked the I.R.S. Kansas City Data-base?


TRINITY

That was a long time ago. What?


NEO

I just thought… you were a guy.


TRINITY

Most guys do.


Neo is a little embarrassed.


NEO

Do you want to go somewhere and talk?


TRINITY

No. It’s safe here and I don’t have much time.


NEO

That was you on the message board tonight. That was your note, wasn't it?


TRINITY

I had to gamble that you would see, and they wouldn't.


NEO

Who wouldn't?


TRINITY

I brought you here to warn you, Neo. You are in a lot of danger.


NEO

What? Why?


TRINITY

They're watching you. Something happened and they found out about you.


NEO

I don't understand --