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The Human Zoo: Science's Dirty Secret (2009)

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1 November 2009 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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A Misleading, Biased 'Documentary'
28 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Allegedly, the purpose of the film was to examine the early stages of anthropology with attention to the influence of Victorian-era world's fairs.

Instead, the science of anthropology in 1904 is ignored (there's only the focus on Human Zoos), and various bits and pieces from St. Louis provide a very confusing and odd perspective. The broader topic of human zoos is not examined; the film focuses (mostly) on a single individual experience (Ota Benga, an African pygmy). Then, various linkages (from Ota Benga to the Bronx Zoo to its director/author who wrote a book that was liked by Hitler) lead to a conclusion that the Victorian Fairs may have influenced (or even helped to cause?) the Nazi holocaust.

The experiences of the many groups of natives at the many various World's Fairs (and other places) is ignored, as is the fact that many of the natives that were brought to the fairs and exhibitions made profits from their display and sales, left when they wanted to, etc. The film also takes various oddball linkages and use them to come to a strange conclusion, in a very disorganized way (but perhaps that's the British way).

Though I offered the insight and expertise of myself (and others) to the filming/production team, they were not interested, but went on their own way to film items that supported their thesis and conclusion.

/s/ A member of the 1904 World's Fair Society, who has read MUCH about the Fair, and the various sciences in 1904.


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