The March of Reason is a documentary film in five parts produced by Scott Burdick, of which the first three have been released on YouTube. The title can be a little misleading, it is not at all about the historical progress of rationality. Rather, it is based around a activist march to the capital in Washington DC, the Reason Rally. I’m sad to say that I’m not sure that I like it.
It certainly has value, and if you’re looking to find a quotable quote from a notable figure in the secular community, this is a fantastic resource. The filmmakers interviewed dozens of people at and related to the Reason Ralley: speakers, organizers, attendees, protesters and opponents. The interviews were chopped up and organized into loose collections of short clips on various topics. The weakness, I find, in this format is that context is lost. It is a soundbite salad. This certainly makes the proponents of the rally look brilliant, taking the best words from the best speakers, but I feel like the film is flawed, overall.
The main flaw, in my mind, is that the soundbites are given without the benefit of context. They are clearly the best parts of the interviews and are presented without the surrounding discussion. It is entirely possible that the discussion that didn’t make the cut undermines or flavors what shows up on screen, or is irrational raving lunacy, we just don’t know. Quote-mining can make anyone say anything.
This becomes a much larger problem when the interviews switch to the opponents of the rally. The filmmakers interview a variety of “believers” and these are, by and large, not the best and brightest of their ilk, and they failed to convince me that they were taking the best parts of those interviews. At several points they jam a microphone in the face of a teenager and unsurprisingly, the teenagers don’t have well considered, well spoken responses, which is exactly the sort of bullshit that PZ bitched about in Ray Comfort’s movie. Throughout the interviews with the credulous, I am unconvinced that the people were well-chosen and fairly represented. It is possible that they were, but I’m not convinced.
Regardless, it’s an interesting watch, so I’ll link it up below. If you don’t have time to watch it all, and there’s a lot of it, the first video jumps to the very best part of the series so far.
That’s Victor… he’s one of ours.