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Monumental: In Search of America's National Treasure (2012)

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Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

Follow Kirk Cameron across Europe and the U.S. as he seeks to discover the people, places and principles that made America the freest, most prosperous and generous nation the world has ever known.

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Follow Kirk Cameron across Europe and the U.S. as he seeks to discover the people, places and principles that made America the freest, most prosperous and generous nation the world has ever known.

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
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30 March 2012 (USA)  »

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$500,000 (estimated)
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Bong Squad
Written by Blues Saraceno
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User Reviews

 
Decent as propaganda, terrible as a documentary
1 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My rating of 3 stars represents an average of zero stars as a documentary, and 6 stars as propaganda. As a documentary, the film relies largely on opinions and when it does present actual historical events, it tends to spuriously shoehorn god into those events. It makes for decent propaganda but is largely preaching to the choir, which doesn't include me. I was left unconverted.

While I think Kirk Cameron is well-meaning, I also think he is misguided. Using the Puritans as an example of strong morals and religious tolerance is problematic. The strict piety of the Puritans was borderline Taliban-esque, and they were all for religious tolerance as long as it included only their religion. The documentary fails to mention that part of the reason the Puritans left Holland was because they felt the Dutch were too tolerant, and had difficulty co-existing with Jewish people. However, this is a bit of a digression.

The film uses questionable and biased sources. The highlights are Todd "legitimate rape" Akin and David Barton, author of The Jefferson Lies, "the least credible book in print," according the the History News Network. Note that The Jefferson Lies is no longer in print, as the publisher withdrew the book citing lack of confidence in the book's details. Also heavily featured is one of the co-writers, "Dr." Marshall Foster, who serves as the film's historian. Foster's "doctorate" is not in history, but in Divinity. As a side note, I do consider a D.Div to be a legitimate degree, but not when it comes from Cathedral Bible College as his does, which as far as I can tell is an unaccredited degree mill.

The production quality of the film is competent, but not spectacular.


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