Conservatives have dramatically upped their game in the documentary space.
“Civilization in the Danger Zone” offers a throwback experience. The film’s production design is straightforward and clean, and the talking heads prove sober in their analysis.
What’s missing? A greater sense of theatrical flourish and an ability to lure skeptical viewers to the film’s admittedly powerful point of view.
“Civilization” breaks down why so many Americans fear the country’s best days are behind it. Forces have aligned to disrupt societal pillars like faith and family, and our youth are taught to reject the country’s core strengths.
“On a tissue of ignorance and lies, we have come to think that the founding of America is an evil thing,” says Hillsdale President Larry P. Arrn, summing up much of the film’s critique of the modern school system.
An impressive array of talking heads, including Rod Dreher, Victor Davis Hanson, Powerline’s John Hinderaker, Heather MacDonald, Rich Lowry and more methodically share how the modern Left, without being aggressively name called, is loosening the bolts on the American superstructure.
This isn’t an overtly partisan affair, at least on the surface.
Those weaned on political podcasts won’t hear much name calling … or names in general, at least along the lines of Biden, Bush, Trump or other hot-button politicians. The themes are broader, with director Gloria Z. Greenfield interweaving them into the sweep of history.
The film also taps Jewish intellectuals to broaden its spiritual approach and give greater context to the problems embedded in modern America.
— Doc Emet Productions (@DocEmet) May 1, 2023
The film quickly assumes its visual format, darting from cogent interviews to the “Ken Burns Effect,” where still images come to life, gently, with a crush of zooms and pans.
It makes the experience akin to a power point presentation, one with dynamic information that still may make the viewer’s attention drift elsewhere.
The film’s villains are numerous, from schools that fail to teach students Judeo-Christian values to an entertainment industry beholden to China’s propaganda machine. That segment proves powerful, in part because conservatives rarely address it in the fashion it deserves.
Clocking in at a little over an hour, “Civilization” is a bracing experience, a roll call of societal ills with no easy answers.
Pop culture may lead the way, at least if conservatives can mirror the Left’s ability to weaponize films and TV shows to debunk narratives corrupting the Body Politic.
“Civilization in the Danger Zone” understands the necessity, and power, of pop culture but struggles to rally its resources to open otherwise shuttered minds.
HiT or Miss: “Civilization in the Danger Zone” offers a chilling explanation for the nation’s decline, but it may not coax the unconvinced of that fact.