Yesterday, I read something in international news that made me so mad I needed to share it with you:
That’s right; my home country, the United States, will not distribute this film. There was no problem for the movie Expelled, a poorly argued anti-evolution flop that grossed just $7,598,071 despite appearing on more than 1,000 screens. And this new biopic, Creation, is much more about Darwin’s life and personal struggles (which were real, by the way) than it is about evolution.
I have no information about the quality of this movie other than that reviews on the internet tell me it’s pretty good. But the story of Darwin’s personal life is legitimately incredible. Darwin realized, long before he published his Origins of Species, what the mechanism of Natural Selection meant for the origin of man, including its religious implications. As someone struggling with the death of his favorite child (daughter Annie), a steadfastly religious wife and a slow-witted son, Darwin’s internal demons were — in a way — just as volatile as the ones he, Hooker and Huxley had to fight for evolution to triumph. And — perhaps paramount to Darwin’s struggles — what of the ethical dilemma of robbing good people of their faith? The last glimpse of Darwin’s life I got to see was through the Off-Broadway play Trumpery, which was both riveting and tear-jerking. (Image below courtesy of the New York Times.)
So with all of this — plus the amazing story of the acceptance and resistance of evolution — I want to see this new movie. I want it to do well; I want it to be as good as my hopes for it are. But I’ll probably never get the chance in this country. Why?
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.
What is wrong with us? Is every major U.S. distributor really afraid to carry this?
I’m hoping that this movie finds a distributor, and that someone steps up to the plate. If they carried the rebellious Fahrenheit 9/11, and they carried the thoroughly misleading Expelled, surely somebody will be brave enough to carry this one? When I first heard this my first reaction was that I should start my own production company and distribute it myself, because this type of information/entertainment should be accessible, here of all places. And yet, I have hopes for this movie.
I hope it’s fair, intelligent and compassionate.
I hope it’s true and accurate, and I hope it tells a wonderful, riveting dramatic story.
And I hope that reason eventually carries this day, both for this movie and for the larger issue of having an educated public.