The movie “Noah” is coming out soon, and I have no idea whose crazy idea it was to do this movie (the director is Daren Ar0nofsky, director of the overrated and execrable “Black Swan,”), nor how they got all that talent to star in it (e.g., Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Nick Nolte, and Emma Watson). And it’s ironic that Jennifer Connelly, who apparently plays Noah’s wife Naameh, also played Darwin’s wife Emma in the movie “Creation.”
Here’s the official trailer:
Judging by the part of the clip beginning at 1:15, there are more than just a few “kinds” loading onto the Ark. Look at all those snakes—surely more than one snake “kind”! I wonder if they consulted a baraminology expert for this? According to Wikipedia, though, no real animals were herded in the making of this film:
Regarding the film’s extensive use of visual effects, Aronofsky said he and his crew “had to create an entire animal kingdom”, using no real animals in the production but instead “slightly tweaked” versions of real creatures. Industrial Light and Magic said their work on the film represented “the most complicated rendering in the company’s history”
You’d think that good Christians would be chuffed that a major film (put out by Parmount) was being made about the Noah, portraying this ludicrous story as something real. But no. According to The Raw Story, the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) made Parmount add this disclaimer to the film (this is only part of it):
“[t]he film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”
Well, it’s bad enough that the film is supposed to cater to those who believe in a a bogus story that somehow serves as a “cornerstone of their faith” (and if its value is solely as a metaphor, what, exactly, is the story supposed to mean?). What’s worse is the reason the NRB pressed for the disclaimer:
NRB board member Phil Cooke told The Wrapthat the disclaimer was necessary because the film is “historically inaccurate.” It is, Cooke said, “more of an inspired movie than an exact retelling.”
WHAT? Historically inaccurate? What would historically accurate mean? How many animals would there be, and how would they be taken care of? How would the “penguin kind” make its way to Antarctica, or the giant tortoises to Aldabra? Nobody can answer these questions, and so the question of “historical accuracy” is moot.
But other Christians have objected as well. Their beefs, given below as quotes from the Raw Story piece, are hilarious:
- Writing on his blog last year, Answers In Genesis president Ken Ham noted that the film’s script “is not at all faithful to the biblical account in Genesis.” Ham believes the trailer for the film is “a Hollywood con” designed to lure unsuspecting Jews and Christians to witness “an unbiblical production.”He lists the many ways in which the film does not accurately reflect his interpretation of what happened in Genesis 6. He notes that “Noah’s family only consists of his wife, three sons, and one daughter-in-law, contrary to the Bible.” Moreover, “[i]t appears as if every species was crammed in the Ark instead of just the kinds of animals, thus mocking the Ark account the same way secularists do today.” [JAC: if there's every species in the Ark, and of course "kinds" could well be biological species, then there must be at least 7 million of them!] Most problematic for Ham, however, is that “Noah does not have a relationship with God but rather with circumstances and has deadly visions of the Flood,” and that “[t]he Ark lands on a cliff next to a beach.”
And Noah is too much of a hippie, too! There’s too much environmentalism!
- Brian Godawa, a screenwriter whose Christian films have repeatedly failed to be profitable at the box office, wrote that Noah‘s script “is deeply anti-Biblical in its moral vision.”“Noah is a kind of rural shaman and vegan hippie-like gatherer of herbs. Noah explains that his family tries to study and heal the world whenever possible, like a kind of environmentalist scientist,” Godawa writes.“Noah maintains an animal hospital to take care of wounded creatures or those who survive the evil ‘poachers,’ of the land. Just whose animal rights laws they are violating, I am not sure, since there are only fiefdoms of warlords and tribes. Be that as it may, Noah is the Mother Teresa of animals.” The environmental message, however, is not Godawa’s central complaint — he is mostly considered with the “postmodernist fancy” that Aronofsky brings to the script. He initially acknowledges that anything not explicitly written in Genesis 6 is fair-game for creative license. “Saying ‘That didn’t happen on the ark,’” he writes, “is sheer ignorance because nobody knows what happened on the ark, because it wasn’t written down!” [JAC: so much for "historical accuracy"!]However, “postmodernists fancy playing God and changing the meaning of texts to suit their agenda because they believe language creates reality. Therefore, it’s okay to ‘make the Bible say what we want it to say.’ This is manipulative narcissistic nonsense[.]”
I guess Biblical literalists have the final say in how the Bible is portrayed. No metaphors allowed! I wonder how “The Ten Commandments” would have fared under the watchful eye of Ken Ham.
Finally, and curiously, the screenwriters are chastised for not accepting God as the tyrannical, genocidal brute that he is in the Old Testament (again from Brian Godawa):
- Another problem with Noah is that it fails to acknowledge that while, from a Christian perspective, “[k]illing all humans but eight in order to start over (as the Bible portrays) may seem harsh to our thoroughly Modern Millie minds…it reaffirms that Image of God in Man that gives man value despite the evil.”
That makes absolutely no sense. Man has value because God kills off all of humanity because they were evil. Were all of them evil, even the babes in arms? And why couldn’t God just prevent those people from becoming evil? Apparently, as it says in Genesis 5, God had made a big mistake—showing that he’s not omniscient, and certainly not benevolent:
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
The directors and producers can’t catch a break, for Muslims are objecting, too. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, their objections are apparently not on supposed historical inaccuracy, but on the fact that Noah is simply depicted in a movie as a living person:
On Thursday, censorship boards in Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates informed Paramount they will not allow the release of the film. Similar rulings are expected in Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait, according to Paramount insiders.
In Egypt, the leading Sunni Muslim institute Al-Azhar issued a statement on Thursday condemning the Paramount movie, saying it should be banned in that country.
“Al-Azhar renews its rejection to the screening of any production that characterizes Allah’s prophets and messengers and the companions of the Prophet [Muhammad],” the statement read. “Therefore, Al-Azhar announces the prohibition of the upcoming film about the Allah’s messenger Noah — peace be upon him.”
Al-Azhar said any such film is “contrary to faith and to the fundamentals of the Islamic Sharia [law],” adding that such movies antagonize the “feelings of the faithful.”
God forbid that Muslim feelings be offended once again.
I wonder when the Jews will weigh in.