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This review is from: The Revisionaries (DVD)
I recently reviewed a film in which the following statement was made: "Fanaticism is often nothing more than the other face of madness." Watching the powerful and very informative "The Revisionaries," I couldn't help but think about this statement, and how true it is.
The documentary can be viewed as a tragic-comedy, as it displays how sad and serious, as well as at times funny, the state of our union is in regard to some issues. In this case, the issue is science versus religion. Director Scott Thurman, who also produced and wrote the film, takes us to the glorious state of Texas, where we meet Don McLeroy, who is being grilled by state officials in reference to "fifteen bills around here, to strip your authority." You see, McLeroy is a local dentist and Sunday school teacher, who heavily supports the "intelligent design" concept and is against evolution. He also happens to be the Texas School Board's chairman, and he is part of a select group that decides the contents of the science books in the state. Scary, right? It should be, as we are taken to several of the board's meetings, and we witness how much power this fellow has, and how convinced he is of his beliefs - he is truly a fanatic. Sadly, he is not the only one on the board against evolution. He has big support with Cynthia Dunbar, who happens to teach religion in Liberty University. The rest of the members are not strong in any issue, and depend on outsiders. Luckily, these outsiders - invited consultants or observers, I guess - include Kathy Miller, from the Texas Freedom Network, and Dr. Ron Wetherington, an anthropology professor. Both individuals are a thorn in the bud for McLeroy and Dunbar, and bring sanity to the hearings. Director Thurman not only takes us through the meeting and each party's arguments, but also examines McLeroy's thinking in detail, his rise and fall - the man is an open book...and a joke.
As noted by Michael Moore -- a fighter for the common good in his own right --, "I hope that every American sees this film." I agree, as "The Revisionaries" takes a look at some of the scary things that happen behind doors in those government buildings in right-wing states, in which some lunatics use our freedoms to push their agendas and, sadly, their ignorance. (USA, 2012, color, 83 min)
Reviewed on June 25, 2013 by Eric Gonzalez for Kino Lorber.