As I’ve already mentioned, I have been thinking about writing a critique of the Christian response to Darren Aronofsky’s film, Noah. Because I’ve been consistently floored by the responses I’ve seen coming from different quarters about the film, I may still write it.
First, why Aronofsky was a natural choice as a filmmaker to make the story of Noah:
The story of Noah and the ark is an Old Testament story, cherished by many religious traditions (not just Christianity). It’s about a man who goes to extremes, following God’s instruction in hopes of saving his family and the living things that God has created from the judgment that God promises to bring down upon the earth. When the great flood comes, Noah’s obedience is honored, and he and his family are saved.
But that’s not the end of the story. Things take a terrible turn. Noah becomes a darker, more complicated character, prone to drunkenness, and shaming himself before his family.
It sounded like just the subject for Darren Aronofsky.
Second, when the film arrived:
Some believers did indeed rejoice. They celebrated the film as a powerful interpretation.
Some didn’t rejoice. They were disappointed. The movie didn’t work for them.
Nevertheless, these two groups had civil discussions about the film. They argued respectfully about Aronofsky’s imaginative flourishes. They argued respectfully about his interpretation of the Bible story.
Third, regarding a third group that reacted angrily about the film:
Moreover, these angry people condemned moviegoers who disagreed with them. They said that any Christians who say they like Noah must be one or more of the following:
• They’re lying.
• They’re deceived.
• They’ve been paid off by the studios.
• They’re so embarrassed over being a Christian, so filled with self-loathing, that they’ll cheer for anyone who makes a mockery of the faith.
I would invite you to go read Overstreet’s analysis in it’s entirety, and wait for part two. It’s the continuation of an interesting conversation.
Update: You can read part two of Overstreet’s commentary here. It’s a fascinating discussion of Noah that Overstreet had with film enthusiast, Julie Silander. It’s a good read, too.