Owned & Operated is a mosaic of the world through the lens of the Internet. Showing our lives as consumers, under the thumbs of privileged individuals and their methods of control. But the ... See full summary »
The Dalai Lama,
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After Barack Obama swept to power promising a new era of hope and change, the emergence of a citizens protest movement called the Tea Party threatened to derail his agenda. Was this ... See full summary »
When a returning Afghanistan veteran threatens to sue the small town of King, NC unless they take down a Christian Flag from the public Veteran's Memorial, a firestorm of protests and ... See full summary »
Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food and ... See full summary »
Richard Dawkins' highly critical documentary attacks the pulsing heart of all mainstream religion- faith; with special focus on Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Contains repeated ... See full summary »
The interpretation of language is at the center of Scott Thurman's engaging documentary about the Texas Board of Education's meetings to discuss the school curriculum. In 2009 the hot topic was the teaching of evolutionary theory in science classes.
The head of the board at the time was dentist Don McLeroy, a creationist who believes that the Earth was created just 6000 years ago. He once publicly stated that 'education is too big a subject not to be politicized." What he really wants to see is science textbooks highlighting doubts about the theory of evolution. His arguments are couched in scientific terms but it doesn't take much scratching beneath the surface to see the political angle. Although it's clear that the director's sympathies lie with the scientists complaining that creationists are trying to hijack the curriculum, what's remarkable is how McLeroy is treated sympathetically, portrayed as man who has firm beliefs and just wants those to be taught to others.
What emerges is not just a discussion on religion but a sterling look at local government and how incredibly important and fundamental decisions are being made with very little democratic mandate. Less than 20 per cent of the electorate voted in the last board elections. Most decisions it seems are last minute fudges where turn of phrase becomes paramount. Yet the fascinating arguments over science classes have nothing on the 2010 discussions on social studies, where suggestions range from replacing 'hip hop' with 'country music' and one board member trying to insist on the use of the middle name Hussein when citing President Barack Obama. Without board approval, Texas schools cannot buy textbooks, and the publishers won't print non-approved books. It's a documentary in the great traditions of Errol Morris highlighting the politicization of education and culture and how the pursuit of knowledge is obstructed by ideological dogma.
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