Suzanne Mason reviews “The Riot and the Dance” film


There’s a good chance you’ve seen a nature documentary or two in your life. Whether exploring the desert, tundra, forest, or ocean, these films give their viewers an up close and personal look at the handiwork of God. However, narrators make scant mention of our Creator and His part in the creation. Not so with “THE RIOT AND THE DANCE.”

Once told he would never succeed as a scientist if he continued talking about the Creator/created relationship, Dr. Gordon Wilson, a biology professor and regular contributor at Answers in Genesis, quite happily guides viewers in “THE RIOT AND THE DANCE” (the title comes from his biology textbook of the same name). “Life is both a riot and a dance—we see riot because of the fall… and we watch it in morbid fascination,” Wilson explains. “The dance part is that we still see the glory of God in creation in spite of the fall—we see the beauty, the choreography, the balances” God has established throughout nature.

Presented as such, this film stands apart from others in its genre in other ways. Dr. Wilson’s narration urges us to consider how we should view nature, both as fallen and as created, and to see God’s fingerprint in the world. Additionally, his narration is not merely a voiceover: he appears throughout the documentary interacting with the animals, even picking up amphibians and reptiles, and yes, even getting bitten. “We have a different worldview—God created, and we were given dominion” over the Earth, and he wanted to be more interactive with the creatures than the traditional nature documentary.  

THE RIOT AND THE DANCEAnd Dr. Wilson is. From elephants and leopards to snakes and frogs, he takes viewers on a journey from Arizona to Sri Lanka, highlighting the creativity of our God and the wonder of His creation and our world. It’s a film unlike any other. “I really want people to see creation from another perspective, one that gives God the glory. It’s not just to be entertained—I want people to reflect on” the world and creatures God has created.  So much so, a second documentary, this time exploring sea life, is in the works for 2019.

“THE RIOT AND THE DANCE” released on March 19th and is still being shown at theatres nationwide. For more information, please visit

THE RIOT AND THE DANCEReview by Suzanne Mason


Suzanne Mason regularly reviews the latest Christian films in SGNScoops Magazine and on SGNScoops website.


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