From the Bizarre Vintage Americana Time Capsule: “City of the Bees,” a 1951 bee filmstrip from the “Moody Institute of Science.”
I happened across this film while researching an upcoming post. Until twenty minutes in, I suspected the MIS was another name for the Dharma Initiative. I started looking surreptitiously for Marvin Candle. But everything changed around 22:00, when retro-charming, grainy footage of dancing bees was suddenly displaced by the Ten Commandments! Hey. . . this isn’t really about science, is it?
Imagine the clatter of the classroom tape projector. Be surprised by the gratuitous riot scenes, no doubt caused by reefer-mad materialist mobs, at 24:00. Be horrified by the “warped and twisted” (!) practices of unspecified native tribes. The Bible finally appears at 26:00, and the rest of this confused film is a sermon.
I wonder: were these films widely shown in public schools? The biology is the thinnest possible veneer for overt religious instruction, and I hope public schools would have objected, even in 1951. But for all I know, they’re still shown in science classes today.
Want more faux-biology? Here’s some carnivorous plants! With rockets, and . . . oh, whatever.