by Curt Holman
It wasn't until I saw an ad for Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed in this week's Creative Loafing that I even knew that Nathan Frankowski's documentary about evolution and intelligent design was opening in Atlanta on Friday. But I'm not surprised: Expelled has been pointedly avoiding mainstream press and media attention and instead focusing on the church-going film audience that helped make Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ a mainstream hit. This New York Times story from March, "Disinvinted to a Screening, a Critic Ends Up in a Faith-Based Crossfire," describes one film critic's experience with seeing the film against the producers' wishes.
Frankly, I'm disappointed that Expelled seems so intent on preaching solely to the converted in its (alleged) portrayal of how academia and "Big Science" advance Darwinism over intelligent design. Just because I've praised left-of-center documentaries like No End in Sight, Bowling for Columbine, The Fog of War and, uh, pretty much every other good documentary, that doesn't mean I wouldn't keep an open mind while watching a film from another part of the political spectrum. Plus, Expelled's host Ben Stein is a smart, funny guy who could credibly be a conservative equivalent to Michael Moore, although this might not be the film.
Unable to see a preview of Expelled myself, instead I'll offer this story from Scientific American: "Six Things in Expelled That Ben Stein Doesn't Want You To Know (About Intelligent Design and Evolution)."
(Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Pictures)