Bart Weiss is President of the Video Association of Dallas.
I felt very weird watching Expelled last night at the Angelika theater. The film was about what I had expected: Ben Stein talking to people who have been punished for teaching and writing about Intelligent Design. The film is well done by today’s documentary production standards, but made me feel uneasy. Not about the content, but about my own thinking about the documentary form. Now I know what the right wing felt like after Farenheit 911, I kept wanting to talk back to the film, like I was watching it in Times Square. I wanted to dispute arguments. The analogy of the Berlin Wall to the supposed closed nature of academia was almost as much of a stretch as blaming the holocaust on Darwin. I am sure that many times I have watched and enjoyed documentaries that made just as thin of an argument for a cause I supported and thought it was great. I guess on some level your enjoyment of a political film depends on how it reinforces what you already believe.