I can’t help but laugh as I start to write this review. All I want to say is “Buy this Movie!”

But that would be self-serving. Of course, this whole entry is self-serving. And how objective can I be about my own production that I wrote, produced, edited, hosted and cleaned up after production (hint: chocolate pudding is a pain to clean once it hardens).

Synopsis:
This 68 minute educational video is designed to be shown in public school classrooms. As a public school teacher my original and intended audience are public school students. The DVD has been designed to meet the scientific requirements set by the Supreme Court and meet the needs of science teachers across America.
However, the response from home and private school students has been the most surprising. Many see the need to educate their students regarding evolution since students will be exposed to it sooner or later. During college, by co-workers or by simply watching nature documentaries Christian young people are flooded with evolutionary assumptions.

The documentary is anything but a talking head. The video engages students from the opening food fight, takes them quickly into the basics of science, elements of logic and sound reasoning with graphics, illustrations, re-enactments and quirky humor and charisma. In the second part the video shifts gears again into an intense debate between a devout Evolutionist and Creationist.

Suffice it to say there is a lot of stuff covered in this video. Most of the people that I asked to review it for me had to watch it twice or more just to get everything. Accompanying the DVD is a CD-Rom with viewing, discussion and teacher guides that can be viewed and printed. If you home school these are great for your kids to fill out and analyze the video. If you are a teacher this is a ready made lesson for you to start a unit with.

Strengths:

Engaging, humorous, moves quickly and refreshingly balanced… or so I’ve been told. Actually the Dove Foundation, who approved this film for audience 12 or older, wrote “I don’t think that Phil Pfanstiel, journalist and teacher, will become popular after viewers see this DVD. He presents both sides to the evolution/creationism argument and basically leaves it up to the viewer to decide. Both sides will possibly decide he wasn’t strong enough on one side of the coin.” Read complete review from the Dove Foundation here.

It is a one of a kind production. The other DVDs sold on this site are great explorations of Intelligent Design and worth watching (I watched most of them while I developed this production). However, there has not been an effort made by either side to present both sides on a level playing field and let the viewer decide for themselves. Man, that would be a great name for a DVD.

Weaknesses:
For starters the title is too long. But it does communicate exactly what the DVD is about. It’s a balanced examination of Evolution and Creation and the science .

Sometimes the host speaks too quickly and the humor is very juvenile. Of course in my defense, the video was made for juveniles. The target audience is 7th thru 10th grade. As a teacher and youth worker in this age range for eight years, I appreciate what it takes to make them laugh and stay engaged. The other weakness is that this is volume one but there aren’t any other volumes available yet. I watched the first one and I wanted to watch the next seven volumes but was told I would have to wait until I made the videos before I could watch them. If this last sentence was confusing then you will also miss some of the humor in the video.

Recommendation:

It may be too late to have an open discussion and examination of these two important theories once your child goes off to college or has been so brainwashed by the publicly accepted and sanctioned theory. On the other hand it is never too early to watch this video with your child and discuss with them your beliefs and why you came to these conclusions. As they see you approach this issue with honesty, openness and intelligence they will do the same. It is specifically designed for young adults so if you watch it with your kids its okay to laugh at some of the jokes you wouldn’t dare laugh at in proper company.

 

Plot/Writing: 4 ½ of 5 Stars

This is the strongest point of the production. I think I make some great arguments and present the information in a logical and balanced way. If you saw all the stuff I had to synthesize and still make it digestible to the average teenager I think you would award it 10 stars.

Acting: 3 of 5 Stars
The host is no Brad Pitt. He talks too fast. Laughs at his own jokes and is quirky and balding. I suspect he’s also something of an egotist. Either that or the next Bill Nye.
Production Quality: 4 of 5 Stars
There are no explosions, chase sequences or extra fancy graphics, but what the video does it does well. It knows its limits and works within them to make a solid presentation.
Redemptive Qualities: 4 of 5 Stars
It was not created to prove either point or to lead people to Christ directly. It was built on the premise that “On a level playing field the truth will always win.” If this is true then the field that it created will lead people to the truth and that is very redemptive.
Objectionable Material / Warning:
Evolution and Creation are both presented as reasonable. You should watch this with an open mind no matter what camp you come from. Also take the time to watch it with your child, discuss it and research those areas that interest you afterwards.

Final thoughts:

This video turned out a lot better than I thought it would and I had high hopes for it to begin with. I think you’ll feel the same way after viewing it. Just be sure to pass the DVD along to your child’s teacher to see if they could use it in their class, so that even more students are presented both sides to this eternally important question.

 

Buy the film Here.

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