Thereâ€™s a good chance youâ€™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 â€œTHE RIOT AND THE DANCE.â€
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 â€œTHE RIOT AND THE DANCEâ€ (the title comes from his biology textbook of the same name). â€œLife is both a riot and a danceâ€”we see riot because of the fallâ€¦ and we watch it in morbid fascination,â€ Wilson explains. â€œThe dance part is that we still see the glory of God in creation in spite of the fallâ€”we see the beauty, the choreography, the balancesâ€ God has established throughout nature.
Presented as such, this film stands apart from others in its genre in other ways. Dr. Wilsonâ€™s narration urges us to consider how we should view nature, both as fallen and as created, and to see Godâ€™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. â€œWe have a different worldviewâ€”God created, and we were given dominionâ€ over the Earth, and he wanted to be more interactive with the creatures than the traditional nature documentary. Â
And 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. Itâ€™s a film unlike any other. â€œI really want people to see creation from another perspective, one that gives God the glory. Itâ€™s not just to be entertainedâ€”I want people to reflect onâ€ the world and creatures God has created. Â So much so, a second documentary, this time exploring sea life, is in the works for 2019.
â€œTHE RIOT AND THE DANCEâ€ released on March 19th and is still beingÂ shownÂ atÂ theatres nationwide. For more information, please visit http://riotandthedance.com/.
Review by Suzanne Mason
Suzanne Mason regularly reviews the latest Christian films in SGNScoops Magazine and on SGNScoops website.
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