As of today, Darren Aronosky’s Noah, starring Russell Crowe and Emma Watson, will have been in release for two weeks in the United States. It opened to strong numbers and swift backlash from those who felt the filmmakers took a bit too much creative license. And when I say “a bit,” I mean a crazy amount for anyone expecting the version they were taught in Sunday school class. Now, I haven’t seen the film or read a plot synopsis, but I just kind of assumed the film would be entertaining while possibly offending my evangelical beliefs. That’s just what I expected given the people behind the film.
To be fair, I’m a movie guy. I follow several movie blogs and YouTube channels. I tend to know the resumes of directors and some screenwriters. So, when I heard about the specific people making this film, I was instantly skeptical.
- I totally understand the advertising didn’t indicate much about how far things would drift
- I don’t expect everyone to know about movie history
- I do get frustrated when some pastors or other religious leaders recommend the film to their churches without knowing anything about it
Here are a few things to consider…
The Story of Noah in the Bible Starts Off Weird …there’s no way to make a film out of it which wouldn’t offend someone
Genesis 6:1When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. 5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
- How do you visualize “the sons of God” taking wives as they pleased in a church friendly way?
- What on earth are the Nephilim and these mighty men? For that matter, how do you visualize them?
- How do you make a church friendly version of barbaric men whose “every intention of [their] thoughts” were evil continually?
Either you do a sanitized version of the story like they do in Sunday school class (which is offensive because it removes important details of the story) or you attempt to actually visualize this and make a weird story with Nephilim and hard R sex and violence.
Those aren’t such great options.
Darren Aronofsky Was the Director …and he doesn’t exactly make family movies
To quote his wikipedia page:
He has received acclaim for his often surreal, disturbing films and has been noted for frequent collaborations with cinematographer Matthew Libatique, film editor Andrew Weisblum and composer Clint Mansell. His films have generated controversy and are well known for their often violent, bleak subject matter.
He certainly understands the depravity of man (which is probably why a story about mankind becoming evil would appeal to him), but he’s not as crazy about redemption.
As a point of reference, he directed a movie called Requiem for a Dream. To quote Wikipedia again:
If you are unaware of what an NC-17 rating means, it stands for NO CHILDREN UNDER 17. In the early 90’s, movie theaters decided they no longer wanted to use the X rating because it had an obvious negative stigma. So they invented the NC-17 rating. It means the exact same thing, and it immediately received the same stigma. Every single film with this rating has flopped very badly. Therefore, no one uses it. Therefore, you probably aren’t familiar with the rating.
Imagine my surprise a few years back when I learned that a man who directed a movie with so much graphic sexual content it received the equivalent of an X rating was directing a movie about Noah.
Needless to say, I was quickly skeptical.
This is a HOLLYWOOD Film …not an independent film
The Movies Has More Sources Than Genesis …and they explain certain decisions
One Last Thought | Noah (along with Joshua & Jericho) is Not a Cute Kids Story
- This isn’t a cute story.
- This doesn’t belong on a t-shirt.
- This isn’t a good story for coloring books.
- This story doesn’t belong as a Raffi song