Documenting Indoctrination: Documentary Filmmaker Colin Gunn Is Interviewed about What Things Influenced Him to Make Films about Schools, Freedom, and "Manliness" and Where He Goes from Here

By Pesta, Duke | The New American, August 5, 2013 | Go to article overview

Documenting Indoctrination: Documentary Filmmaker Colin Gunn Is Interviewed about What Things Influenced Him to Make Films about Schools, Freedom, and "Manliness" and Where He Goes from Here


Pesta, Duke, The New American


Colin Gunn is an award-winning writer, director, producer, and animator. His previous films include Shaky Town, winner of the Best Political Film at the San Antonio independent Christian Film Festival (SAICFF), and The Monstrous Regiment of Women, which also won the Best of Festival award. He wrote, co-directed, and produced the documentaries IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America and Captivated: Finding Freedom in a Media Captive Culture, which took first and second place respectively in the documentary category at SAICFF. He also served as executive producer of Act Like Men: A Titanic Lesson in Manliness. He is now working on a new feature-length documentary on American healthcare called Wait Till It's Free! Originally from Hamilton, Scotland, Colin lives in Waco, Texas, with his wife and eight children.

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THE NEW AMERICAN: Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you end up a filmmaker in the United States?

Colin Cunn: Well, to cut a long story short, it was really through meeting my wife in New York. We met in Brooklyn, so I ended up coming over here from Scotland--Hamilton, which is a small town near Glasgow--and we ended up coming over and living in Texas. I'm an American because of my wife, but the longer story is I had an ideological connection with the U.S. before that. I started reading American literature, and a lot of stuff about liberty and freedom, which we don't have a whole lot of in Scotland. I was reading American books by American authors--Christian authors who understood liberty and were promoting it.

TNA: Who were some of these American authors who influenced you?

Cunn: One of my favorites is R.J. Rushdoony, and he believed in the application of God's word and God's law--biblical law--to all areas of society. And that gave me a better understanding of the moral aspects of economics. That was one of my big interests that led me to the JBS and THE NEW AMERICAN magazine, because the Federal Reserve and all those things that no one knows about are introduced. I was introduced to all those narratives through R.J. Rushdoony, but he also covers other political issues--abortion being a big one that motivated me at a very young age, as well as politics--and I realized that these are big battles that we need to fight. And a lot of people don't know hardly anything about them because, as we know, the government controls and largely influences the media; the government controls the schools, and people come out of the schools not knowing about these big issues. If we don't solve them, there will be an absolute catastrophe for many people, and many people will be hurt by these bad ideas.

TNA: What is your training in film--how did you get involved with documentaries?

Cunn: I have no training in film. I don't think that has any value. 1 mean it's nice that I've gone to college and I have a degree in architecture, and also in animation--that relates in some extent to film--but I was motivated to make documentaries, and film became the best medium for us to set our message out there. So I can't write, I can animate, but that's not going to communicate the message particularly easily, so for the message I want to get across, I found documentary film, and it was a great revelation when I did because I believe that's one of the best ways to communicate to our culture.

Even on the Left, a lot of the arguments that are being presented are coming through documentaries because now there's sort of a cynicism and distrust of mainstream media. So a lot of people are attracted to an independent voice, and we fit in there, we can make these stories, these films that really have an impact. And then we can go a lot deeper because news punditry, talk radio--they're so shallow--but give us an hour and a half, and we can go pretty deep. ... So that was my interest in getting into film with no training, but I think the best thing is to always learn by doing, and that's what we've done. …

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