Terry Kelly writes:
I saw a preview screening of this film, “Creation” at the Nova. It was free for the privileged few who were offered tickets, for which I am most appreciative. Unfortunately I spent more than I intended because I almost immediately walked straight into Borders and bought a copy of the book, which was, apparently, the last one in the store.
The film is based on a book called “Annie’s Box; Darwin, his daughter and Human Evolution” by Randal Keynes, a great great grandson of Charles Darwin and a great nephew of John Maynard Keynes (the very famous Economist) – what a pedigree!
The copy of the book I bought is just called “Creation” because it’s a “tie in” with the film.
The film focuses on the human side of Darwin and the excruciating trauma of the death of his beloved eldest daughter, Annie, his struggle with his friends and family in the church, and the obviously (because she was so religious) difficult, but ultimately deeply loving, relationship with his wife.
It gets a bit messy at times in terms of structure, as there are a lot of flashbacks and flashforwards but it has 2 of the most powerful and moving scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie (and I’ve seen a lot, being a sort of a movie buff). I wouldn’t want to spoil the film for those who may see it but let’s just say it deals with love and death in a profound and beautiful way.
Another thing I liked about it is that, for a biographical film, it contains itself, with some exceptions, to a relatively short, albeit overwhelmingly significant, period of Darwin’s life. Biographies often have too broad a sweep, in my opinion, and therefore miss something. I suspect that by limiting the time frame in this film we may actually understand Darwin better.
It also highlights the “battle” with religion and how challenging a book like Darwin’s would have been to people at the time (and still is to some).
There’s actually a very enthusiastic review of “Creation” by Jason Ball on the Young Australian Skeptics website that is worth a read.
Apparently critical reviews have been a bit mixed, but mostly positive. I don’t think this will be a blockbuster commercial success and break any box office records but there should be more films like it and I recommend it highly. The Director, John Amiel, has done lots of good films and, interestingly because it is so different, he directed the TV mini series musical “The Singing Detective”.
“Creation” is now screening in most of the big cinemas around Melbourne.