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Please join us for Spiritual Cinema on Saturday, September 15 at 7:00 PM. We will watch the motion picture, “Creation: How Darwin Saw the World and Changed It Forever” (2009). The movie is 108 minutes and will be followed by a short discussion of some of the topics raised by the movie. Dan Flippo has volunteered to screen the movie in his home and has room for at least 14 people. Please click his address for a map or directions: 2650 Easthaven Drive, Hudson, OH 44236. Please RSVP to Dan at [email protected].
Please consider reading the following related article from UUWorld prior to the movie night:
“Natural faith: How Darwinian evolution has transformed liberal religion” by Rev. Dr. William R. Murry, former president of Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago
Our next movie will continue some of the themes brought up last month when we watched “Contact”. The movie “Creation” focuses on a similar conflict and synthesis of science and religion. The movie focuses on the conflict Charles Darwin’s research causes with his own faith and his wife’s. The film is based on “Annie’s Box,” a biography penned by Darwin’s great-great-grandson Randal Keynes using personal letters and diaries of the Darwin family.
“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
― Charles Darwin (1859). On the Origin of Species
More than 150 years after its publication, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and its theory of natural selection remain the subject of much debate; the divide between those who accept Darwin’s ideas as incontrovertible science and those who consider them blasphemous may be wider now than ever. Released in 2009, director Jon Amiel’s Creation goes right to the heart of the matter–indeed, right to the heart of Darwin himself. As portrayed by Paul Bettany, the Darwin who has returned to England following his voyage aboard HMS Beagle is a man for whom “deeply conflicted” is a barely adequate description. Well aware his theory is “perhaps the most powerful idea ever to occur to a human mind,” he is caught between the scientists who insist that he has “killed God” and the religious conservatives, including his wife Emma (Jennifer Connelly), who counter that his very soul will be in peril if he finishes and publishes his book. What’s more, he is haunted, sometimes literally, by the death of his favorite child, Annie (seen in frequent flashbacks), and its effect on his marriage–in fact, it is this personal angle that dominates the film. But while the toll his work has taken on his health, his faith, his family, and his very sanity is obvious, he also knows that it is far too important to ignore. Creation is not a documentary; liberties have been taken, and there are multiple sequences, including Darwin’s nightmarish fever dreams, that are clearly the invention of the filmmakers. But Bettany and Connelly, who are a real-life couple, are both superb; the cinematography is gorgeous; and various scenes illustrating the notion of “survival of the fittest” in nature are riveting (there won’t be a dry eye in the house when Darwin tells his dying daughter about the fate of an orangutan captured in Borneo). And while the tone of the film would seem to favor science over religion, the DVD includes numerous bonus features in which both sides have their say. This one is not to be missed. –Sam Graham
Posted in: Spiritual Cinema