questions about how the universe came into being, and I was hoping that as a film lover, (and understanding that many of my students would see this film), it may answer some of
Creation stars Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly, Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones, Jim Carter, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martha West and is directed by Jon Amiel.
Sadly, as the film unfolded I became more and more disappointed. it was useful to understand the plight of Darwin himself, his own wrestle with faith and perhaps God himself, however it did not reflect his theory of Evolution and Natural Selection as I would have wished. I was hoping to see his experiments and procedures come to life on the screen, and see how he explains what he wrote in “Of the Origin of Species” way back in 1889. However it was not this that gripped the screenwriter, but his personal struggle with his family, specifically with the death of his eldest daughter, Annie (played excellently by Martha West).
I thought the set, costumes, and indeed the actors themselves did a grand job of visualising this as a period drama, but that was what it was in the main. I also got a bit confused as I was sure that Darwin was very upset at the thought of what he had done, (“you have killed God Sir”), but this was not magnified in the film. In an interview with Richard Dawkins for the BBC he explains that “Yes, Darwin lost his faith gradually. As a young man he was destined for the church. He was training to be an Anglican clergyman at Cambridge [University], and then gradually throughout his life he lost his faith, partly because of personal tragedy – losing children and things like that, and partly because his science led him to see the superfluousness of a creator. He never described himself as an atheist; he ended up describing himself as an agnostic – the term which was coined by his friend T H Huxley”.
An interesting thought, that throughout all his discoveries he did not turn his back on God himself, and one can only guess at the reason for this. Also interesting that it was a friends of his that coined the phrase that I use many a time, “agnostic”.
As a film this is one worth watching but if you want to find out how Darwin made discoveries and then wrote about them, this one is not for you.
Creation is available to buy on DVD and Blu Ray now.