June 11, 2018  (Web Review)

A Dangerous Idea

(2018) 106 min. DVD: $350. Bullfrog Films (www.bullfrogfilms.com). PPR. SDH captioned. ISBN: 1-941545-97-1.

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

Subtitled “Eugenics, Genetics and the American Dream,” filmmaker Stephanie Welch’s documentary highlights how political forces have tried to use science to promulgate negative stereotypes against certain demographics, bringing out the worst in mankind during the 20th century, from the injustices of Jim Crow America to the brutality of the Holocaust. A Dangerous Idea argues that contemporary political figures are using a variation of the discredited pseudoscience of eugenics to disenfranchise people, based on ethnic origins and income levels. Indeed, claims of genetic links have been trumpeted in the mainstream media to explain criminal behavior, demographic poverty, and intelligence based on race and gender. Unfortunately, Welch tries to cover too many areas at once, serving up a somewhat exhausting history lesson that sometimes just brushes across historic and contemporary examples of intolerant political policies. Still, this is a timely look at earlier injustices and current threats that are tied together by one insidious thread of perverted science. Recommended, overall. Aud: H, C, P. (P. Hall)