The Riot and the Dance is a new nature documentary that will be in theaters nationwide for a one night event on March 19. The film is a boisterous new nature documentary featuring a biologist who was once told he would never succeed if he kept blabbing about all that silly Creator-creature nonsense. Host and narrator Dr. Gordon Wilson travels around the globe and in his own backyard, showcasing everything from exotic creatures to overlooked critters.
Now you can follow along with Dr. Gordon Wilson as he traverses our planet, basking in God's masterpieces. Whether he's catching wildlife in his own back yard or in the jungles of Sri Lanka, Dr. Wilson celebrates God's creatures in all shapes, sizes and species. (Yeah, he was bitten, but not by the cobra.) Showstopping footage and powerful narration will open your eyes to the extraordinary glory found all over the animal kingdom. From leopards and langurs to vipers and elephants and beyond, The Riot and the Dance is a cinematic celebration for viewers of all ages.
We have the honor to chat with Dr. Wilson about this exciting new film.
Q: Congratulations on the release of your new film, for the sake of our readers, briefly tell us what is the movie about?
The movie is simply a cinematic celebration of the creation. I showcase a wide array of amazing animals from small insects to elephants. I highlight some fascinating facts about them and the best part of it is God gets the glory for all of it.
Q: Can you explain to us the title of the film?
The Riot and the Dance came from the name of my biology textbook. I came up with the name because when I think of all aspects of the life on earth, God designed it like a dance. At the ecosystem level, i.e. the cycles of nature, courtship behavior, mutualistic relationships, are all very choreographed. Even at the cellular level, whether it's mitosis or DNA replication, no process is purposeless. The molecules of life are designed to dance toward a goal. The "Riot" refers to the fact that this beautiful dance was subjected to futility because of Adam's rebellion. The enemy "death" invaded. The curse of God was ushered in through predators, parasites, pathogens, and other pernicious things like cancer. But apart from the curse "Riot" can refer to the seeming chaos of plant placement and animal movement (or even Brownian motion at the molecular level). Most of it doesn't conform to our sense of tidy organization. In the wilderness, trees and plants aren't in rows and migrating animals aren't marching lockstep in straight ranks. This part of the riot is good. There is much beauty in it. Though the original dance was deformed it wasn't blotted out altogether.
Q: When and how did you become interested in God's creation in nature?
I was 5 or 6 years old when I discovered that I loved living things. What stands out in my mind was when my older brothers brought home a couple eastern box turtles. I was transfixed and it was around then that this biology 'seed' germinated in me. It was clear that I was cut out to be a biologist from the start.
Q: In creating a film like this, certainly you have some great stories from filming. Any good stories of trying to capture this incredible footage of nature? Where in the world did you film?
I loved a lot of things during the filming but would have to say that catching the Sonoran Whipsnake and handling it was my most enjoyable moment. I'll save the other stories for later. We filmed in northern Idaho, Arizona, Sri Lanka, California coast, Oregon coast, & Yellowstone National Park.
Q: How will this film help us in terms of our faith or our lack thereof?
Too often we think of life as the domain of secular biologists and BBC camera crews. Unfortunately they have done the most work. Christians need to get it in gear. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." The film, rightly viewed, should increase our faith because we are directly seeing the handiwork of the Word...God the Son (John 1:1-3). We are gaining insight into the creative character of God. We see God as an Artist, as an Engineer, and as a Sculptor. It makes our enjoyment of living things personal because see the Person behind it. That strengthens my faith. I hope that will be true for all who watch it.
Q: What would you say to a skeptic who doesn't believe in a creator? What would you say to him or her?
Without getting too technical I would say if you know that something like an iPhone has to be designed and manufactured by intelligent beings, be mindful that every critter (and plant) you see in this film is many orders of magnitude more complex. Natural selection simply selects; it doesn't create. Mutation does create either. At best it modifies (usually damages) that which has been made. Watch and believe. This kind of belief is highly rational.
Q: What's next for you?
My day job is teaching biology to the glory of God at New Saint Andrews College. I hope I do that until the day I die. If Attenborough can keep making nature documentaries into his 90s, then I hope God will enable me to do the same... but for His glory, not Darwin's. In the short term, stayed tuned for Part 2 of "Riot" which is "Water"