Creation, the Movie: Expelled from the USA

EXCEPT for one post last year, mentioning that the film was being made, we haven’t written about Creation, the new movie about Charles Darwin. The film made a debut in Canada and received a number of reviews, many favorable; but we haven’t written about it again.

We’ve been waiting for the film’s American debut, and the inevitable reviews reflecting “The Controversy” that rages here between evolution and creationism. But it’s not being shown in the US. We were also waiting in the hope of finding a crazed creationist review so we could post about that. But it’s not happening — our usual sources are ignoring the film. What’s going on here?

In the UK’s Daily Telegraph we read Charles Darwin film ‘too controversial for religious America’. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

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.

[…]

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.

But not in the US. Let’s read on:

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.

To be candid with you, dear reader, we find this situation disgusting. The Daily Telegraph article continues:

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.

They’re probably referring to this this hideous review of a hideous book about “Charles Darwin: a racist, a bigot and 1800’s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder.” Hey, it’s legally safe to lie about a dead man. It’s also dishonest and cowardly. Therefore it’s the creationist thing to do.

If you want to read an excellent review of the movie, click here to read ‘Creation:’ A drama about the life of Charles Darwin, which is posted at the Panda’s Thumb website. It’s written by Eugenie Scott, Director of the National Center for Science Education.

It’s unlikely that you’ll find a review anywhere written by anyone more knowledgeable. Hint: she likes the movie.

But will the film ever be shown in American theaters? Perhaps not. The creationists may have succeeded in keeping the US population so ignorant that there’s no market here for such a film. We suspect that the US isn’t quite that stupid, but potential distributors are worried about demonstrations and possible violence. That concern may be well-justified — creationists aren’t known for their rationality (or integrity, or hygiene, or … well, you know all that).

Considering the antiquity of The Controversy between evolution and creationism, and the continuing embarrassment it causes for us as a species, it’s entirely appropriate for your Curmudgeon to use this occasion to revive an ancient insult — which we now hurl at the creationists with all the contempt we can muster: A pox be upon you!

[Update: See Creation the Movie: Box Office Results (UK).]

[2nd Update: See “Creation” the Movie: US Premier on 22 January.]

[3rd Update: See Creation: 1st Weekend Box Office Results (US).]

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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31 responses to “Creation, the Movie: Expelled from the USA

  1. Surely by now the DI has complained about this “censorship,” right?

  2. This is pathetic.

    It would be one thing if distributors thought there was insufficient audience for this film and therefore unlikely to cover its distribution costs.

    Wonder what Ben Stein and the DI have to say about this. It doesn’t seem consistent with their claims of an International Darwinist Cabal ceaselessly suppressing dissent and endlessly promoting, without let or hinderance, its Satanic programme of genocide, homosexuality, cannibalism, and the heartbreak of psoriasis.

  3. Great Claw says: “Wonder what Ben Stein and the DI have to say about this. It doesn’t seem consistent with their claims of an International Darwinist Cabal …”

    You omitted the claim that the movie industry is all a bunch of left-wing atheist perverts. (Some of them do fit that description.) Surely, Hollywood should leap at the chance to distribute this film in America, because we’re told that “Darwinism” only exists to promote such abominations.

  4. Methinks someone is engaging in some virial marketing by creating a buzz about a Controversial Film, after which a distributor will miraculously sign a distribution agreement for the film.

    No one will notice the distributor probably had a option before all the controversy stories popped up.

    Bottom line: clever marketing, IMHO.

  5. Longie says: “Bottom line: clever marketing, IMHO.”

    Nah! Too sneaky. Science types don’t think like that.

  6. “Nah! Too sneaky. Science types don’t think like that.”

    Since when are movie distributors “science types”?

  7. retiredsciguy asks:

    Since when are movie distributors “science types”?

    Well, yeah. But I was thinking of the movie’s producers, who seem to have been sensitive to getting the science right. That’s in contrast to the producers of “Expelled,” who set out to attack evolution in cooperation with the Discoveroids. Different kinds of people.

  8. Join the Facebook group:
    “Bring ‘Creation’ to the US!”
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=132022932739

  9. darwinsbulldog

    I am disappointed that the film is lacking a US release, but I will be in London in October and should get to see it then!

  10. darwinsbulldog, give our regards to Dawkins. Even if the movie doesn’t get a US distributor, it’ll be available on DVD.

  11. sounds like a manufactured controversy to me. Religulous found a distributor while this cannot? Either its a bad movie or this is marketing, since when do movie distributors dislike controversy?

  12. They’re probably referring to this this hideous review of a hideous book..
    Movieguide has book reviews?
    That reminds me; they also run a vegetarian restaurant. The pork chops are delicious.

  13. Honestly, i think the movie is just not good. When has a movie studio passed on a movie which could make money? Especially if it is controversial? Give me a break. This producer is just p***sed off that someone has told him he has a bad movie that can’t be sold.

    On a final note, while i am concerned about American’s inability to separate religion from government, i think it is total non-sense that only 39% of the US population believes in evolution. Come on? Who in America actually believes that stat?

    Here is a link to the actual poll as i am sure no of you have actually looked at it http://www.gallup.com/poll/114544/Darwin-Birthday-Believe-Evolution.aspx.

    1) The question is worded quite poorly
    2) Only 25% said they do not believe in evolution
    3) 36% gave no opinion
    4) Only 55% of those polled could even tie Darwin with Evolution

    Simply put, at best, this poll is highly suspect and tilted to get play in the media – and i cannot believe that you all are allowing this to happen as well. If you consider that the 36% answered “no opinion” which means “maybe” in my book then the stat jumps to 75%. Not great, but not something to be overly ashamed of.

  14. mike says: “Simply put, at best, this poll is highly suspect and tilted to get play in the media – and i cannot believe that you all are allowing this to happen as well.”

    I quoted the article in the Telegraph. As for polls on “The Controversy,” I’ve posted several articles about them. For example: here and here and here.

  15. Couple of points.

    1) While you only quote the Percentage in the Times article, by not challenging it, you give the impression that you support it. To quote you “To be candid with you, dear reader, we find this situation disgusting”
    2) Your first link for the Harris poll puts the “Theory of Evolution” asked in the same manner as UFOs, Devils, Witches and God. To call someone on the phone and put the Theory of Evolution among that group is a disservice to the Theory of Evolution – it implies it is a mystical force as well. I am more upset over that than the actual percentages. http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=982
    3) The second link, the Gallup Polls, do a disservice on the way they ask about Creationism by putting a 10,000 year time frame on it. If your choices are “Humans evolved over millions of years” or “humans evolved after being created by God 10,000 years ago” what do you expect people to say – considered this is a sample of people where 75% say they go to church? I would hazard a guess if you said 100,000 or even 1 million years, you would have the same response. http://www.gallup.com/poll/108226/Republicans-Democrats-Differ-Creationism.aspx
    4) In the Gallup poll please note that Gallup has been asking the same question since 1982, and it has been virtually unchanged over 25 years. The only movement is that the believers in Evolution have moved from 9-14%. I think we should celebrate that.

    All i am saying is that, as we portend to be believers in Science, we should at least extend the courtesy to analyze these polls before supporting them as for the most part they are garbage polls that most of these firms push out for media exposure.

  16. Final statement – I do believe that you do adequately challenge these polls, however, as i am an American living in Europe, i get extremely frustrated when media types quote these polls to make Americans look like backwater, idiots.

    All in all, Americans are likely on par with the rest of the world in how they view Evolutions interaction with God … however, we are the only culture which wants to make us look as dumb as possible. Very discouraging…..

  17. come on guys.

    controversy as marketing. And it’s working.

  18. I was remembering the 1974 Kanawha County, WV textbook violence the other day because of some text book controversy in the news here in Texas. (there is always a controversy regarding textbooks in Texas) I learned this evening there was a 35th year reunion of the protesters in West Virginia a few weeks ago. I also recall, in ’88, religious leaders began organizing protests over Scorsese’s “Last Temptation of Christ” before it was even finished. There were bomb scares in a couple of theaters and pickets (and firebombing in France). I wouldn’t underestimate the fervor of American flat-earthers, especially in the current political climate.

  19. I personally doubt the producers’s account. More likely he is either making unreasonable demands in the licensing or the movie is simply boring and the theaters don’t think it will sell tickets.

    There was plenty of controversy over “The Last Temptation of Christ” and also “The Davinci Code” but theaters played those. I doubt many right wingers support slasher flicks but theaters show those. History indicates theaters will show anything if they think there’s money in it. They’ll even show terrible flops (“Redacted”, etc) on the hope that maybe they’ll end up being popular.

    So why wouldn’t they show this movie?

    There’s more to it than the producer is saying.

  20. As I predicted up thread:

    Methinks someone is engaging in some viral marketing by creating a buzz about a Controversial Film, after which a distributor will miraculously sign a distribution agreement for the film.

    Two days later:

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/entertainment/movies/Gibsons-Creation-May-Cause-Big-Bang-in-US-59246832.html

  21. Mel Gibson? It’s a strange world.

  22. Money beats faith almost every time.

  23. No Mel Gibson (and no fact-checkers)

    “The original article confused the film’s distributor, Icon Distribution, with Mel Gibson owed Icon Productions. The companies use the exact same logo and indeed Icon Distribution was once owned by Gibson. It is no longer. We regret the error.”

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/entertainment/movies/Creation-May-Cause-Big-Bang-in-US-59246832.html

  24. isn’t this a film about a mans life, and nothing more? If u believe his theories or not wouldn’t it be an intersesting movie? I can’t believe this is even a ****ing debate.

  25. Okay, okay…. Your ancestors were apes or gorillas or monkeys! You’ve convinced me! I am all cool with that.

    Mine weren’t, but we can still be friends, unless you’re prejudiced that is!

    By the way, why do we still have apes? I thought they evolved into humans. Hmmmmm!

    Oh and P.S. For your sake, I hope you’re right.
    🙂

  26. Okay, Thinker. Now please find another website. This place isn’t for you.

  27. fadedcharacter

    I love how the snobs of higher academia instantly cling to the “truths” of their shakey religion known as science. I am amazed at the obvious unwillingness of the science community to investigate ALL evidence. The circular reasoning of the fossil layer leads me to believe that those who follow the religion of evolution have more blind faith that the most fervent creationist.

  28. Goodbye, fadedcharacter.

  29. Creationists are proof of evolution. They are what they say is missing in the fossil record.

  30. watched the film in AMERICA, Houston,Texas of all places, a below average film, didn’t hit the mark, you would of thought english actors would know a little bit about Darwin,but instead turn it into a bit of pooh …..as one famous scientist said God does not play dice…..