Monday, February 23, 2015

IndoctriNation DVD - Review

Have you heard of IndoctriNation? I'm betting that if you homeschool and have attended any conferences or groups that at one time it was probably mentioned.

This was a film that I had been wanting to see really bad and it just so happens I was able to have the opportunity to review the DVD recently with my family. I received IndoctriNation from Great Commission Films.  I had heard so many positive things about the film from family and friends. I was very excited to finally be able to watch it.

What is IndoctriNation?

IndoctriNation is a 102 minute film that was released in 2011. I believe this film needs to be seen by anyone who has children in government run schools and colleges.  Even if you don’t have children yet I encourage you to also watch this movie.

There is an opening graphic for the film that strongly recommended not allowing children to watch the program. While I'm certainly glad it was included, I did feel like I wanted to be able to have my children watch certain parts. So I watched it once without them and a second time allowing them to come in during certain segments. The reason it is not recommended for children is due to the topics that are discussed, such as violence, sexuality, drugs and alcohol.

Christian documentary filmmaker and award winner Colin Gunn is one of the producers and he also stars in the movie. He was born and raised in Scotland and attended public schools. When he and his wife began having children they vowed to homeschool. Mr. Gunn and his family now reside in Texas where they homeschool eight children. For the film, IndoctriNation, Colin purchased a big yellow school bus and he and his family traveled across the United States for three weeks, visiting many sites that pertain to education in America and interviewing different people on the government run school system. The questions Mr. Gunn asks are:
  • Who established the American school system?
  • Are my kids physically and morally safe in the schools?
  • Are the public schools religiously neutral?
  • Should Christians try to be “salt and light” in public schools?
  • Can the public school system be fixed or redeemed?
Mr. Gunn interviews teachers, parents, scholars, and pastors. Among those Gunn interviewed was the parent of a Columbine High School shooting victim, who has experienced how things can go terribly wrong in even the best of public schools. I don't want to give away many details of the film but I will say the interviews you will see are angering, humbling, heartbreaking and encouraging. Ultimately, what he sees from studying public education in the United States is a system that neglects God in its teaching and hinders students in their relationships with Christ.

Gunn also gives a great history lesson. He goes back to the 1800’s to show how change even began back that far. What you will hear and see will shock you, break your heart, make you angry but most importantly hopefully open your eyes. It sure did mine. I mean, I felt like I already knew a great deal of the information shared, but truly I was shocked to actually learn so much more than I already knew. For instance, I learned that students from Christian families who attend public schools spend only a fraction of their time learning from a Christian perspective. As a result, many students turn away from the faith by the time they become adults. According to the film, 88 percent of Christian children deny their faith by graduation day. 88 percent! That was a shocking number to me. Although I have to admit even if it was lower it would still be sad, but seriously....88 percent! Learning this broke my heart. Like I said before, I learned a great deal of new information that honestly made me appreciate and feel blessed by the fact that I do have the opportunity to homeschool my children. 

Mr. Gunn has stated that the goal of the film is not to cast judgment on Christian families who send their children to public schools, but simply to inform them about some of the problems with doing so.

Final Thought

I am very glad that I was able to view IndoctriNation with my family. It was a very well done and thought provoking film that I highly recommend to everyone with or without children. It really helped drive home the notion that just because everything seems fine doesn't make it so and also not to believe in the lie that it isn't happening where I live. Also, like I stated above there are certain parts that I'm glad my children didn't view, but there are others that I'm thankful they did get to see and learn about.  The conversation my daughters and I had after viewing the film was very honest and open and in that moment I believe my children where thankful that I had long ago made a choice to keep them home where I felt lead to have them.

“Is there an idea more radical in the history of the human race than turning your children over to total strangers whom you know nothing about, and having those strangers work on your child’s mind, out of your sight, for a period of twelve years? Could there be a more radical idea than that? Back in Colonial days in America, if you proposed that kind of idea, they’d burn you at the stake, you mad person! It’s a mad idea!” — John Taylor Gatto in IndoctriNation

How much does IndoctriNation cost?

You can currently purchase one copy of IndoctriNation for only $19.95. There are discounts for purchasing additional quantities. 

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