Last week our family went to check out our new local library and I was excited to see they had a copy of this video in their collection. In a way this is even better than getting a review copy because I know lots of other people have the chance to see it for free.
Speaking of which, lots of libraries aren’t horrified at the thought of having a Creationist resource in their collection. If you want to check out something, ask them if they’d get a copy. It’s worked before!
The Mysterious Islands is a production of Vision Forum who run the big San Antonio Christian film festival. That alone tells you what to expect for quality. Personally, I found the footage and music the equal to anything I’ve seen from the BBC or PBS. It’s a visual and auditory feast.
The theme of the film is the Galapagos Islands. They take time looking at a number of the extraordinary creatures inhabiting them and then look closely at Darwin’s experiences there.
At 90 minutes, the video is long enough to enjoy each animal and environment showcased. It was a delight to watch the tortoises, iguanas, and (my favorite) blue-footed boobies in their natural habitat at a leisurely pace.
The whole film is set up as if we were members of the expedition exploring the islands. For me, even better than seeing the animals was spending time with John Morris (president of ICR), Doug Phillips (the founder of Vision Forum), and the guys with the film crew. We got to watch the camera men do their thing and then see through their lenses. It was like being there without the sun and grit!
It’s always hard to be sure how much of the “plot” of a reality film is authentic or not, but the head videographer seemed to be the spokesman for the theme of the movie. Here’s a young man, committed to Jesus, but with little knowledge of the controversy over origins. This is the kind of person the film appears to be aimed at.
Which leads me to the one negative I have to say about the movie: this is not a film you would hand a confirmed evolutionist to help them overcome their arguments. It would most likely irritate them into throwing it away before they were 10 minutes in.
Especially near the beginning, Doug Phillips would say things like, “we’re here to see whether evolution or creation make more sense based on what we observe.” And then proceed to state things clearly showing his Creationist bias. I obviously have no problem with having a preexisting bias, holding the same one myself, but why bother pretending you’re open to other interpretations when you aren’t?
Right at the end, the film gets into the heavy social Darwinian consequences the world experienced especially during WWII. The photos they used weren’t likely to turn your stomach (much) or give little kids nightmares, though. Christians need to be keenly aware of the results of following a worldview to its logical conclusion. The battle against treating humans like vermin is hardly over!
I don’t know that I’ll put this on my family wish list to purchase for now, but this is one to watch at least once. I won’t be surprised if my kids ask to check it out again soon so they can watch all those cool animals! 😀
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? Job 12:7-9