- IMAX nature documentaries are infuriating the creationist crowd. The current solution? Just prevent the showing of these costly productions at IMAX theaters frequented by science-hating Christians.
Creationist fanatics vs. IMAX theaters: Volcanoes of the Deep Sea among nature documentaries in trouble in the U.S. South
IMAX theaters in several cities in Texas, Georgia, and North and South Carolina have decided not to screen Stephen Low’s 40-minute nature documentary Volcanoes of the Deep Sea (2003) because its references to evolution may offend Fundamentalist Christians and fellow believers in the widely derided faux science known as “creationism.”
Written by Stephen and Alex Low, and narrated by four-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris, the documentary follows two scientists in search of an elusive 50-million-year-old creature along the 12,000-foot-deep (3,650-meter-deep) mid-Atlantic ridge.
But why would creationist Christians be offended?
As found in the Los Angeles Times, because the narration for Volcanoes of the Deep Sea commits the cardinal sin of making a connection between human DNA and microbes inside undersea volcanoes.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Volcanos of the Deep Sea was executive-produced by ocean depths aficionado James Cameron, whose Aliens of the Deep, according to the Titanic and The Abyss filmmaker himself, has also been the target of creationist outrage.
More creationist targets
A couple of other IMAX nature documentary shorts that have led to creationist fire and brimstone are Bayley Silleck’s animated Cosmic Voyage (1996), and David Clark and Al Giddings’ Galapagos (1999).
Narrated by recent Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby, 2004), the former takes the viewer on a trip through the universe.
Narrated by four-time Oscar nominee Kenneth Branagh (for Henry V, 1989), the latter, as the title indicates, is set on the islands that played a key role in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
“Science-Hating Creationists vs. IMAX Theaters” notes
Ed Harris & Kenneth Branagh Oscar nominations
 For the record, Ed Harris’ Academy Award nominations were for the following:
- As Best Supporting Actor: Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 (1995), Peter Weir’s The Truman Show (1998), and Stephen Daldry’s The Hours (2002).
- As Best Actor: for Pollock (2000), directed by Harris himself.
Also for the record, Kenneth Branagh’s Oscar nominations were for the following:
- In the Best Actor and Best Director categories for Henry V (1989).
- As the director of Best Animated Live Action Short nominee Swan Song (1992).
- In the Best Adapted Screenplay category for Hamlet (1995).
“Science-Hating Creationists” endnotes
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea image: Image Entertainment, via the Stephen Low Company website.
“Science-Hating Creationists vs. IMAX Theaters’ Nature Documentaries” last updated in September 2021.