Censorship comes in many forms. It can be decreed by a government or it can be self-imposed by a collective body of cowards – in this case the U.S. film industry. It also is a frightening indicator of just how much the right wing is insidiously impacting every aspect of our lives – our liberties, our right to choose and our way of life.
Even movie distributors are running from any potential controversy with their tails between their legs – sort of like Hollywood’s early reaction to the McCarthy era. Careers and lives were ruined because of the demagoguery of the alcoholic Joe McCarthy and members of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), Richard Nixon among them. An individual who found their names on the infamous Blacklist suddenly had no friends; contracts to act, direct, film and write dried up.
So, what does all this have to do with the recently released movie “Creation?” The people who’ve been fortunate enough to see it say it’s the best movie they’ve watched in a year. But I haven’t been able to see it because not one U.S. movie distributor wants to touch it. I’d have to go to Canada or Europe.
Besides denying the public the right to choose, their spinelessness adds up to nothing less than censorship. The producer Jeremy Thomas feels that a U.S. distributor won’t pick it up because of the division in America over the theory of evolution.
“Creation” isn’t just about evolution, however. Over half of it is based on a very loving but troubled relationship between Charles Darwin, a devoted family man, and his wife Emma. When they lose their eldest daughter to illness Emma turns to religion for comfort and Darwin to science. The struggle between his religious beliefs and the scientific evidence creates mounting tension not only within himself but with his wife. This conflict between reason and emotion is the nucleus of “Creation.”
The same groups who scare the pants off the paranoid movie industry are the same people who want “Huckleberry Finn” stripped from school libraries or who protest the showing of such movies as “The Last Temptation of Christ.” They are the same people who are considering rewriting history to reflect only Christian based indoctrination. Where does it stop? And where are the heroes with the intestinal fortitude to denounce them?