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Saturday, June 02, 2012

SIFF Sighting: THE REVISIONARIES (Documentary, USA)

What happens when a volunteer school board gets to decide what textbooks public schools should use in their curriculum?

This horror—er, documentary—film tells us just that as the Texas Board of Education meets to determine what will and will not make the cut content-wise in textbooks for the next 10 years.

What's frightening? Many of the board members have less education (or at least less relevant areas of study) than the teachers who will be using them and also have no regard for the separation of church and state. So, their proposals include removing scientific explanations for evolution with creationist theories, and deleting musical genres such as hip-hop from the offerings.

Leading the brigade is a dentist named Don McLeroy (pictured above) who believes the earth is much younger than science has proven, yet also somehow reconciles that dinosaurs allegedly rode on Noah's Ark. It's all very frightening considering the size of Texas, and the power they have over publishing companies to determine what textbooks will be printed for schools all around the country.

Director Scott Thurman takes a clear stance here, but if you're a rational-thinking viewer, that shouldn't bother you. The school board meetings and debates would be entertaining if they weren't such a blatant example of the deterioration of our respect for the Constitution.

THE REVISIONARIES screened at the 38th Annual Seattle International Film Festival.

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