Posts Tagged ‘untame’

I admit that I am late to the party, but have finally watched the movie Noah.  I have heard a great deal of criticism about the film, usually about details that contradict with the Genesis account.  The critics are right; there is much that does not agree with Genesis. For myself, I could have done without a stowaway on the ark and a Noah who borders on insanity as he misinterprets the intent of the Creator. I haven’t decided whether the “watchers” bring a comical or a supernatural element.

I can’t help but think about another version of the Noah story that contradicts with Genesis.  For years, we have painted animals two by two on nursery walls and blankets and children’s toys.  We seem to be ok with trying to convince our children that this is a feel good story.  The fact is, we can decorate the nursery with a Noah theme but that does not eliminate the disaster of the flood.  If I have to choose, I think the film is closer to what Genesis is talking about.

I am glad that it was released and that I had the opportunity to watch it.  Most of us who watch movies enjoy strong acting and this one has Anthony Hopkins who plays a strong, imaginative Methuselah.  Bravo Hopkins!  I also was glad that the movie portrayed a Creator who refuses to be domesticated.  It allows us to bring Genesis and more importantly the God of Genesis into conversation with people who otherwise may not have been interested in such talk.

Perhaps a thank you is in order to Hollywood for providing opportunities we otherwise would not have had. Should we be shocked that Hollywood grabbed a story from the Old Testament?  Can we fault them?  After all, the Old Testament is far more interesting than the stuff we usually see on the big screen.  For that matter, it is far more interesting than nearly anything labeled as entertainment.  Seriously, have you seen what the industry has been trying to pass off as entertaining?

It is sometimes easy to forget why Hollywood makes movies.  They are entertainers, even more, they want to make money.  They probably choose a story like Noah because it is familiar to many who they think might be interested in buying a ticket to the theater.  They do not mind when we protest our disagreement with the way Genesis or God is portrayed.  They probably enjoy it, thinking of our protests as free publicity for the movie.

I enjoyed the creative portrayal of the way that the Creator works.  I was fascinated by the miraculous way that a flower grows, a forest grows, animals arrive at the ark, and the rains come.  I enjoyed the oral presentation of the creation story as told by Noah.

As I mentioned above, there are a number of things that I wish were portrayed differently in the movie.  But, even more, I wish that we would respond differently to mainstream attempts to tell our stories.  Why do we get so worked up when Hollywood doesn’t tell our stories correctly?  Do we seriously expect them to?  What are our expectations?  That Hollywood should tell our stories for us?  When did we pass off this responsibility?  Talk about abdicating our calling.  Instead of criticizing the movie industry would it make more sense to be participating in the conversation in more faithful ways?

I wonder if our frustration in these situations isn’t actually a self-indictment.  Are we frustrated that we have not been effective at telling our own stories? Here is one guy hoping that Hollywood continues to put out movies featuring the biblical stories.  I hear that a movie about Exodus is on the way.  I am anxious to engage in the conversation.


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