Sunday, September 13, 2009

Creationists Work to Keep a Movie about Darwin from Being Screened in the US

First, some people do their best to censor books in school and public libraries—and now they’re working to keep Creation, a movie about Darwin, from being screened in the United States.

I’m a reader of Jonathan Turley’s blog. Turley is a professor of law at George Washington University and a constitutional scholar. I found the following post on his blog today—Movie Selection of the Fittest: Creationists Block Internationally Acclaimed Movie on Darwin From Being Shown in U.S.

Turley writes in his post: The film has been the target of creationists, who remind distributors that only 39 percent of Americans believe in evolution. Jeremy Thomas, the producer of Creation, notes “[t]he film has no distributor in America. It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it’s because of what the film is about. People have been saying this is the best film they’ve seen all year, yet nobody in the US has picked it up.”

You can read the rest of Turley’s post here.

CREATION: Darwin Movie Trailer

And from Telegraph.CO.UK, 11 Sept. 2009:
Charles Darwin film 'too controversial for religious America'

A British film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer.

Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin's "struggle between faith and reason" as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie.

The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia.
However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

I find all this extremely troubling! How about you?


  1. These "block the film" things only work 'cause most people don't KNOW about movies before they come out. And, since I'm living in the UK, I can tell you that the Brits love to portray Americans as these hysterical no-nothings who hide under the bed and tie up their daughters in lieu of letting them hear about evolution.

    This is a PR thing -- as in, the film is perhaps hoping to GET some PR by saying that Americans won't let it through. If it hasn't found a distributor, I have a feeling it's for some other reason; Americans will watch anything, so I kind of doubt this is about our much-vaunted religious sensitivity.

  2. Tanita,

    Thanks for your comments. Sure, it may be partly PR--but there are so many things that truly bother me going on over here. I think this story is indicative of the climate in the US at the moment. Some of these fundamentalist religious groups have exerted immense pressure (successfully) on schools in some areas to ban certain books/kinds of books from their libraries and reading lists--and have pressured/brought lawsuits against state school boards in hopes of requiring educators to include the teaching of creationism/intelligent design along with evolution in science classes. The racism that has begun rearing its ugly head since Obama took office is not so subtle any longer. And there's this mass hysteria about health care reform. The Limbaughs, Hannitys, Becks, and Malkins are doing their best to stir up hatred and the worst emotions in people. How about a pastor who advertised a Bring Your Gun to Chruch Day? There are just too many things to note in my comments that both my husband and I find troublesome.

    I'm holding out hope that the Darwin movie will find a distributor in the US.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Elaine. I'm with you. America is being overrun by people who think that the best way to make a point is scream loudly and often. Unfortunately, they are getting away with it rather than being chastised for their rudeness, hate, and anti-intellectual spewings.

  4. Diane,

    Thanks for commenting. These people you speak of not only scream loudly and often--they also lie and misrepresent things. Think about the birthers and the individuals who propagate fear about death panels. As a former teacher, I am truly disturbed by the amount of anti-intellectualism I see taking hold in some parts of this country. Add to that the rudeness and hate speech that's beoming epidemic. What's to become of us?