In the early 1900s, thousands of indigenous peoples were put on public display in America. Often touted as “missing links” between man and apes, these native peoples were demeaned, harassed, and used as props to promote Social Darwinism and scientific racism.
Now a new award-winning documentary tells their heartbreaking story. It is called Human Zoos.
“Too often people think that ideas don’t matter,” says Dr. John West, the director and writer of the film. “Human Zoos shows otherwise, investigating how false ideas about science can lead to false ideas about our fellow human beings. The impact of these false ideas on human lives can be devastating.”
The Oregon Documentary Film Festival calls Human Zoos “a racially charged story that will mesmerize you… You have to see it to believe it, and then wonder why they didn’t teach you this chapter in history class.”
Human Zoos exposes the shocking history of scientific racism in America and reveals how some people today in the so-called “Alt-right” are still drawing on Social Darwinism in order to dehumanize others. The film also explores the sinister history of eugenics, the effort to breed humans based on Darwinian principles.
The 55-minute documentary features Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Pamela Newkirk, author of Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga; California State University historian Richard Weikart; Catholic University of America philosopher Jay Richards; and Nigerian scholar Olufemi Oluniyi.
Human Zoos has already won four awards, including Best Editing from the Oregon Documentary Film Festival and Best in Show from the Cinema WorldFest Awards in Toronto. In addition, the film was named an official selection of the Africa World Documentary Film Festival and the Anthem Film Festival.
For more details, visit www.humanzoos.org
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