Wednesday 22 August 2012

The Problem of Evil (2012)

This five-part series of educational films, aimed at 16-18 year old students of theology and religious studies, discusses some of the complex ethical issues surrounding one of the biggest questions: if there is a God, why is there evil in the world? Examining various theodicies linked to the topic, The Problem of Evil has one central evil at the heart of it – to help tie everything together – and that is the Holocaust, represented sensitively-but-honestly with stunning archive film.

The main four films (which I shot and edited) provide the in-depth starter knowledge to help inspire and sustain informed and passionate debate within the classroom, while the fifth film (for which I wrote the script and edited) provides an optional brief history of the Holocaust, from the election of Adolf Hitler, through the end of World War II, and beyond to the present day.

Editing this series provided some interesting creative challenges (as evidenced in the third video clip below), not only in continuing to produce visually-arresting educational films that didn't resemble the staid affairs I remembered from my own high school days, but also in sensitively dealing with tragic subject matter – most specifically the Holocaust. The main four films all exhibit sequences relating to the subject, but the key was to not push too far with the footage, while maintaining an honest and educational approach to the material.

However, we also felt that it was important to provide an optional extra on the DVD – the aforementioned The Holocaust: A Brief History – which fully lays bare the horrors of those events in a truthful manner that avoids audience manipulation. It isn't required viewing in a class room, but teachers have been provided with the choice to show it, or alternatively utilise the script (provided on the DVD with comprehensive teacher's notes).

Once again, by working on an educational DVD, a challenge was offered to create strong and interesting visual representations of the complex theological issues and ideas being put forward by the narration. I was able to tweak and improve upon previously used techniques, as well as try out some new ideas across all the films, to keep the presentation fresh and absorbing.

Click “READ MORE” below to watch preview clips of all five films featured in The Problem of Evil, and see what people think of the films themselves...

“This is no bland anodyne treatment of an academic subject but a realistic no holds journey through one of the most harrowing and challenging subjects available for study”.
Karl Lawson, Principal Examiner Philosophy of Religion

“This DVD does not shy away from the hard issues and responses -indeed it embraces them and is also eminently watchable. It is frankly excellent and I can’t recommend it highly enough”.
Andrew Dalton, Head of Religious Studies, Shrewsbury School

“The best resource of its kind, which will greatly augment any course on the problem of evil. Thoroughly recommended!”
Linda Moore, Head of Religious Studies, The Mount School, York

“Stimulating, informative and engaging films that will enrich the learning experiences of all who watch them.”
Chris Fox, Head of Philosophy & Theology, Headington School, Oxford

“This series brings the arguments and counter arguments to life….an excellent resource.”
Dominic Hodnett, Head of Philosophy, Christ Church Grammar School, Perth

“Thought provoking, stimulating and flexible films that will certainly supplement and complement the teaching of philosophical ideas about the Problem of Evil.”
Imelda O’Grady, Senior Lecturer Education and Theology, York St John University

No comments: