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At the end of the Noah film the final frame had the usual disclaimer: persons and events represented are fictitious, any similarities to anyone living or deceased was unintentional.

So this is a film about someone who just happened to have the same name as someone else who, in a famous story, went through quite similar events. Including a world-destroying flood, an ark, three sons, called Ham, Shem, and Japheth, and a drunk-in-a-cave event. That’s about where it ends.

This Noah has “Watchers” who help him (they are a cross between Lord-of-the-Ring Ents and The-Hobbit stone giants, with a good touch of Transformers), no wives for Ham and Japheth, and a stow-away Tubal Cain. Noah is a vegan who, surprisingly, lives in the (ummm… about the time of King David) Iron Age (but with magic added).

On first seeing the shorts I thought that here we were going to get a movie that made a legend look historical. But the controversy that swirls is in the opposite direction – people protesting that the film isn’t faithful to the Bible enough! “Have Aronofsky (raised with a Jewish education) and co-writer Ari Handel made a film that’s too religious for secular viewers and too secular for religious ones?” Certainly the retelling of Genesis 1 is in the concordist camp, the Genesis 1 voice-over accompanies fairly standard contemporary big-bang-and-evolution images – so reinforcing some people’s idea that Genesis is somehow hidden science.

The movie takes a strong environmentalist approach. The destruction of nature and animals is due, it proclaims, to humans having been given dominion over creation. Noah sees his call then to save the animals and exterminate humanity.

Like so many films based on a book – the book is better.

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4 thoughts on “Noah”

  1. I liked the film for the questions it raises. Who is inside, who is outside? Do we all wish for a “do over” – would we be in the Ark – and who would we choose to take with us? Also are we hearing God’s voice or the voices in our heads?

    1. Thanks, Ann. Very helpful. I preached on the story being our story this morning. Your questions are a great further way in. I will take a different tack in my sermon this evening. Blessings.

  2. I saw the movie last Saturday and didn’t find it entertaining. It was a bit disturbing and not necessarily because of the extent to which it deviated from the Genesis account. The conservative/evangelical backlash prior to the movie’s release in the US was so great, that they reissued the trailers announcing the movie with a new caveat at the end that the film was a work of fiction based on the Genesis story, but with considerable artistic license taken by the authors.

    It was a new take that Noah believed that humankind was not to survive, that his family would perish later because none of them could reproduce!

  3. Like many films based on books, this film took a different angle, and was based in a very different world…

    It was not so much iron-age as a world which had gone through an industrial revolution and then, when the resources had all been used up, reverted back to a more primitive culture. It was similar to the Mad Max world, where civilization has collapsed and groups are scavenging in the ruins of a once great empire (if such can be said about Australia..) There were the ruins of machines and industry which are hardly from the time of King David! It is in fact a story set in our future, in a post apocalyptic world. I suppose in the logic of the narrative world all signs of the advanced industrial society, which we see the ruins of, is destroyed in the flood – along with the knowledge of how to replicate it now that the knowledge giving watchers are gone.

    A lot of the ideas were non-canonical from a western Christian perspective, but borrowed some interesting ideas from other books (eg. the Enoch series..)

    I found it a good rewrite which raised many interesting questions.

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