Creation: The True Story of Charles Darwin

チャールズ・ダーウィン生誕200年と「種の起源」出版150年を記念し、今年2009年は英国では記念行事やイベントが盛りだくさんだ。先日、9月25日よりイギリスで公開予定のダーウィンの伝記映画「Creation(クリエイション)」を観る機会があった。監督は「エントラップメント」や「ザ・コア」のジョン・アミエル。実生活でも夫婦である、ポール・ベタニーがダーウィンを、ジェニファー・コネリーが妻エマを演じている。「Creation」は、ダーウィンの曾曾孫にあたるランドル・ケインズの伝記「ダーウィンと家族の絆 長女アニーとその早すぎる死が進化論を生んだ」が原作。イギリスの自然科学者チャールズ・ダーウィンが、最愛の娘の死、信仰心の厚い妻への愛と自身の科学的信念との間での葛藤を乗り越え、「種の起原」を発表するまでの過程を描いた作品で、今年のトロント映画祭にも出品された。

上映後、何人かの人と話したが賛否両論。Mは何が言いたいか分からなくて嫌いだそうだが、私は、イギリスの美しい田舎を背景に、ダーウィンの家族への愛情や、キリスト教信仰と自分の持論との間で揺れる姿等、家族人としての人間味のあるダーウィンの姿にスポットライトをあて、、子供に語り聞かせるという形でのダーウィンが自然選択説を信じるに至った経験の描写、幻想的な映像等、なかなか悪くはないと思った。娘の幻想に常に悩まされたりといった、少しオカルトがかった演出は少し鼻についたけれども。

This year is the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species are being celebrated by events and publications. We had a chance to see a film ‘Creation‘ which will be shown on UK cinemas from September 25.  ‘Creation‘ is based on a true story and an adaptation of “Annie’s Box: Charles Darwin, His Daughter and Human Evolution”Randal Keynes‘ best-selling biography of Charles Darwin. It is directed by Jon Amiel and stars married couple Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Charles Darwin and his wife Emma Darwin. The film had its world premiere on September 10, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The synopsis of the film is that “a world-renowned scientist, and a dedicated family man struggling to accept his daughter’s death, Darwin is torn between his love for his deeply religious wife and his own growing belief in a world where God has no place. He finds himself caught in a battle between faith and reason, love and truth. This is the extraordinary story of Charles Darwin and how his master-work “On the Origin of Species” came to light.” (quoted from official site)

We talked to some people after the screening and the opinions were mixed. M didn’t like the film at all, but I thought it was not too bad – ‘creation’ spotlights the scientist’ human side and portrays his family life in the beautiful British countryside. The cinematography is mysterious and atmospheric. The episodes of Darwins’ experiences, which lead him to his revolutionary theory, were smartly inserted in the film the means of him telling a story to his children. But the ghost-story like direction, like Darwin was often haunted by his dead daughter, was too much and a bit annoying.

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