Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Aftermath of the Flood


Last night a few guys from Cornerstone headed over to the theatre to check out the new blockbuster movie Noah and sat down over some (really excellent) food to talk about it afterwards. It was an interesting discussion. Now that I’ve had a bit of time to process, I’d like to take a minute to share a few thoughts on the movie and provide you with a couple of links if you’d like to dig in deeper.

Thar be spoilers ahead!

The movie was both better and worse than I’d expected. It’s got big visuals and some interesting takes on the Ark and how the animals were arranged. They did a phenomenal job at showing the scale of it, and the idea that it fit two of every kind was easy to digest. On the other side, they knocked the animals out with some sort of magical smoke that let them sleep through the entire thing. The special effects were consistently good, the score was fantastic, and there were several points that I was really drawn in. Methuselah was hilarious.The movie as a whole, though, is dark. Really dark. Don’t let your kids anywhere near this movie dark. Most of the evil is implied rather than shown, but there is a scene with a dog being torn limb from limb while still alive that I found deeply disturbing. You certainly don’t get to walk out of this movie singing songs about kangaroosies on the arky. It drives home the reality of humanity¬†-men, women and children¬†-being wiped off the face of the earth in a brutal and terrifying manner. That’s in the Bible, though. Most of the movie isn’t.

Some of the movie was strange and fantastical. The presence of “zohar” as some sort of spiritual mineral. The “watchers,” who are portrayed as angels that came to help mankind but were punished by being trapped in rock-bodies played a much larger role in the movie than I was expecting. Some of the pre-flood animals are just weird.

There are a lot of people out there that are very upset that Noah seems to diverge from or fill in what is given in the Genesis 6-9 account. They feel like the trailer gave a bit of a bait and switch. Where the trailer heavily implies Noah relying on God for help and protection, what he really has is an army of Rock Ents. They feel like there is radical and unjustified departures from the text for the sake of Hollywood film making. The issue is that the Bible’s Genesis account of the Flood isn’t the source material behind the movie.

This movie, for the most part, bypasses Genesis and goes to sources that the Early Church branded Gnostic heresies, or special mystical knowledge from Secret Religions like Kabalah (who’s primary text is called the Zohar, by the way). It reaches into the book of 1st Enoch for information about The Watchers, and even then takes them from being fallen angels who brought war to mankind and are awaiting due punishment to misunderstood benevolent martyrs who long to go back to heaven.

In short, the film makers did everything they could to take a story that Christians would be drawn to and make it about how human will triumphs over everything, and God, if he’s there at all, is silent. God is a monster. The snake is a hero that brings the blessing of wisdom and special knowledge to humanity. It’s a hot mess. The thing is, if you’re not looking for it, it’s easy to miss or dismiss. It’s relatively subtle compared to how BIG the action is.

After having watched it, I can say that I wholeheartedly do not recommend it. If you want to see it as a movie for its own merits, go ahead, but don’t go with any expectation that it’s about the Noah or the God of the Bible.

Further reading:

http://drbrianmattson.com/journal/2014/3/31/sympathy-for-the-devil
http://http://godawa.com/movieblog/subversion-serpent-aronofskys-noah/

 

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