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Unlocking the Mystery of Life DVD with Discussion & Study Guide Review by April Elstrom

IDEA Center
Illustra Media
(877) 436-0955
P.O. Box 636
La Mirada, CA 90637-0636

Unlocking the Mystery of Life is an excellent video presentation on the beautiful complexities that support an Intelligent Design view of creation. Illustra Media has created a thorough, interesting, and well-documented video. The sixty-five minute movie is geared toward high school students and adults, though some junior high students may be able to follow along, especially if using the study guide and breaking it down into shorter segments.

This movie alternates between actual footage of nature scenes, video interviews of scientists, and computer animation. The computer animation that is used to explain DNA and demonstrate the engineering elements of the bacterial flagellum are extremely well-crafted. It all flows together seamlessly, to show the incredible complexity of life and the improbability that life occurred via an accidental explosion, or a series of random mutations.

The documentary has a lovely score of soft, instrumental music mixed with ocean sounds playing throughout the movie. This little touch just adds to the beauty, the flow, and overall excellence of this movie. I hadn't expected that element at all.

The Discussion & Study Guide that accompanies the video can be photocopied for individual use, as long as it is kept full and complete, and full credit is given. It works best to have the study guide in hand to answer questions and take notes while viewing the documentary. The discussion guide divides the movie into segments, so you can pause after each segment to discuss the questions included in the guide. This will also help if you want to break the video down into several lessons through the week, instead of one long session. Answers are provided in the back of the discussion guide, for parents and teachers.

Unlocking The Mystery of Life is not well-suited for family viewing. The content is family appropriate, but the documentary is not geared toward younger children. Although the movie is extremely well-produced and full of wonderful information, it doesn't hold the interest of younger children. It is also necessary to be able to focus on the documentary in order to not miss information, and in our home, that's impossible to do with young children playing nearby.

This documentary is a wonderful resource to supplement a high school biology program. It fits perfectly alongside a unit that discusses DNA, or a chapter that discusses the origin of life. Whether you homeschool or send your children to school elsewhere, this documentary can help your teens see the implausibility of the theory of evolution. It's helpful to give teens scientific evidence that supports Intelligent Design, rather than just telling them to believe it because the Bible says so. Unlocking The Mystery of Life can strengthen their faith in the Creator God.

-Product review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2017