The Revisionaries (2012)

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The Revisionaries: Directed by Scott Thurman. With Don McLeroy, Kathy Miller, Jonathan Saenz, Stephanie Klenzendorf. The theory of evolution and a re-write of American history are caught in the crosshairs when an unabashed Creationist seeks re-election as chairman of America’s most influential Board of Education.

“The interpretation of language is at the center of Scott Thurmanu0026#39;s engaging documentary about the Texas Board of Educationu0026#39;s meetings to discuss the school curriculum. In 2009 the hot topic was the teaching of evolutionary theory in science classes.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe head of the board at the time was dentist Don McLeroy, a creationist who believes that the Earth was created just 6000 years ago. He once publicly stated that u0026#39;education is too big a subject not to be politicized.u0026quot; What he really wants to see is science textbooks highlighting doubts about the theory of evolution. His arguments are couched in scientific terms but it doesnu0026#39;t take much scratching beneath the surface to see the political angle. Although itu0026#39;s clear that the directoru0026#39;s sympathies lie with the scientists complaining that creationists are trying to hijack the curriculum, whatu0026#39;s remarkable is how McLeroy is treated sympathetically, portrayed as man who has firm beliefs and just wants those to be taught to others.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhat emerges is not just a discussion on religion but a sterling look at local government and how incredibly important and fundamental decisions are being made with very little democratic mandate. Less than 20 per cent of the electorate voted in the last board elections. Most decisions it seems are last minute fudges where turn of phrase becomes paramount. Yet the fascinating arguments over science classes have nothing on the 2010 discussions on social studies, where suggestions range from replacing u0026#39;hip hopu0026#39; with u0026#39;country musicu0026#39; and one board member trying to insist on the use of the middle name Hussein when citing President Barack Obama. Without board approval, Texas schools cannot buy textbooks, and the publishers wonu0026#39;t print non-approved books. Itu0026#39;s a documentary in the great traditions of Errol Morris highlighting the politicization of education and culture and how the pursuit of knowledge is obstructed by ideological dogma.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFind all of our film and festival coverage, as well as our events and education at Follow us on Twitter @DohaFilm.”


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