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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

trailer break: ‘Creation’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer…

I’m so looking forward to seeing this movie, and it looks like I’ll get my chance: the film has finally been picked up for U.S. distribution by Newmarket Films, after a period during which no one would touch it. As the Telegraph explained back on September 11:

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.

Movieguide.org, an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as “a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder”. His “half-baked theory” directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to “atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering”, the site stated.

The film has sparked fierce debate on US Christian websites, with a typical comment dismissing evolution as “a silly theory with a serious lack of evidence to support it despite over a century of trying”.

Jeremy Thomas, the Oscar-winning producer of Creation, said he was astonished that such attitudes exist 150 years after On The Origin of Species was published.

“That’s what we’re up against. In 2009. It’s amazing,” he said.

“The 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.

“It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America. There’s still a great belief that He made the world in six days. It’s quite difficult for we in the UK to imagine religion in America. We live in a country which is no longer so religious. But in the US, outside of New York and LA, religion rules.

But, as Empire Online noted,

one brave company raised itself onto its two legs, rubbed the spot where its tail had been, and flicked a large middle finger in the general direction of increasingly-powerful Creationists everywhere…

I wonder if the ire of those Creationists will be placated by the fact that Newmarket also distributed The Passion of the Christ. I’m guessing not.

Funny coincidence: Paul Bettany played a proto-Charles Darwin character in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

Creation opens in the U.K. today, and in the U.S. in December.

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