Now, Darwin censored in America

by Ritwik on September 15, 2009

The Telegraph (UK) reports that Jon Amiel’s film Creation, a British project about Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution has not found a distributor in America. The film, which has secured positive early reviews, has had no problem in securing distributors in other territories all over the world.

It may be recalled that America has witnessed an acrimonious debate on Darwin’s theory of evolution, which is widely accepted as the best explanation for the origin of life and evolution of various life-forms. Creationists in America refuse to accept Darwin’s theory as it clashes with ideas propagated by Christianity.

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.

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.

It is difficult to see this incident in isolation, given the increasing intolerance and jingoism shown by vast sections of the American media over the past few years, while covering matters as diverse as Iraq, health care and outsourcing.

It is also interesting that despite the election of Barack Obama, right-wing opinions seem to hold a great amount of sway over the country. This seems to rule out any hope of genuine “change”, at least for now.

For a society that prides itself on being free, America has touched a new low. One can only hope that sense will prevail and at least one distributor will show the guts to stand up for freedom of speech, in the land that is gave us Operation Enduring Freedom

9 comments

Its like what happened to Michael Moore’s books, isn’t it? Something is wrong with America and its ‘freedom of speech’. They must’ve banned the Da Vinci code too. If not, then they are just hypocrites.

by Neelakshi on September 15, 2009 at 10:30 pm. #

Failing to get a distributor is not “censorship.” There are a limited number of movie screens in the USA, and hundreds (if not thousands) of movies produced every year.

Most movies fail to get distributed. Those are the ones that go “straight to video.”

It is a business decision of the distributors whether they think they (and their client theaters) can make an evil “profit” showing the film.

Without that evil “profit,” the distributors and the movie theaters they distribute to go out of business.

Quite honestly, I don’t see long lines of teenagers cuing up to see a documentary on Charles Darwin, do you?

by Reanimated on September 16, 2009 at 12:51 am. #

@Reanimated: You probably didn’t bother reading beyond the title of my post. Media reports clearly mention that the film has snapped up distributors all over the world. I wonder why “long lines of teenagers” are queuing up to see a “documentary on Charles Darwin” in all parts of the world apart from America?

Maybe the decision to not distribute the film is based on concerns other than economic? If so, then I’d call that indirect censorship.

by Ritwik Agrawal on September 17, 2009 at 6:24 am. #

@Ritwik Agrawal: American movie distributors and theaters are not in business to promote political agendas.

Their only agenda is to make money.

If they don’t think your movie will make money, they pass.

Since you obviously believe your movie is going to be a box office blockbuster, you can bypass the traditional distributors and distribute the movie yourself by paying individual theaters to show your movie, while you collect the ticket revenue.

Since your movie is going to be so successful, you will easily recoup the price of the screen from ticket revenues.

What are you waiting for?

On second thought, you’re right. It must be a conspiracy. All the movie distributors and theater chain owners get together on alternate Thursdays and decide which movies they are going to suppress.

by Reanimated on September 17, 2009 at 9:43 am. #

@Reanimated: You are sidestepping the point, which is this: the same movie has found distributors in other parts of the world. I am sure you will agree that these distributors work on the same profit-driven business principals of their counterparts in America. In spite of this, they are willing to distribute the movie, which means that demand must exist for this movie all over the world. It is not exactly an indie film, it has been asked to open prestigious film festivals and has already got positive early reviews. The controversial subject matter itself should ensure that the film does good business.

In light of this, I believe that American distributors are shying away from releasing this film because they are worried about extreme reactions from the Christian right, which is more assertive in America than in most parts of the world. It follows that distributors are afraid of virulent negative reactions which will affect their public image, which is causing them to not consider Creation – independent of its economic potential.

by Ritwik Agrawal on September 17, 2009 at 10:29 am. #

@Ritwik Agrawal said “In light of this, I believe that American distributors are shying away from releasing this film because they are worried about extreme reactions from the Christian right, which is more assertive in America than in most parts of the world.”

Yeah, that’s why they distributed anti-Christian movies like DOGMA, PRIEST, JESUS CAMP, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, etc. because they fear the suicide bombers and decapitators of the all-powerful “Christian right, which is more assertive in America than in most parts of the world.”

Someday soon all movie theaters, radio and TV stations will be owned and run by the Obama government and fascists like you will get to dictate everything that is published and shown, but right now there is still a little freedom left here.

I know that offends you, and for that I apologize.

by Reanimated on September 17, 2009 at 6:58 pm. #

Here are links to two Darwin movies released in the past month produced by Christian organizations. Not one of them is being distributed to the big screen. They are all going straight to video.

[The Voyage That Shook The World](http://creation.com/)

[Creation: The True Story of Charles Darwin](http://creationthemovie.com/flash/)

If there really is a powerful Christian conspiracy keeping your movie from getting distributed, wouldn’t that same powerful Christian conspiracy be able to get their own movies distributed?

by Reanimated on September 17, 2009 at 9:40 pm. #

Here is another straight-to-video Darwin movie:

Darwin’s Dilemma – http://www.darwinsdilemma.org/

Some conspiracy ya got there, Skippy!

by Reanimated on September 18, 2009 at 12:50 am. #

This article is incorrect. The Telegraph either did not do it’s research correctly or lied, because the movie is not banned in America, it’s release date was extended due to some issues with the film company.

by Ben on February 22, 2010 at 3:28 am. #

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