The past couple of weeks the internet has had a few posts about controversy bubbling around the new Darren Afronsky “Noah” movie. Based on some of the reaction, the director has been asked to make some changes to the film. Some articles suggest the studio and director are “feuding” about the final cut.
From there a quick search online for “Noah film” and “blog” will turn up a growing number of blogs from faithful Christians who are becoming more outraged about the treatment of the biblical story in the film. Here’s one from Ken Hamm of Answer’s in Genesis. That’s not surprising, since the AiG is developing the Ark Encounter.
Allow me to sum up what most of these blogs are saying: We’ve seen a preview version of the film. The movie is not true to the biblical account. We shouldn’t support it.
I imagine the producers of the movie are salivating at the possibility of a boycott, and general controversy that will, in the end, propel the $125+ million epic into profitable status. And based on some of the online reaction, that may be coming.
But before we all jump off the cliff and onto the boycott bandwagon, I wanted to offer a different option:
Embrace the movie. Here’s why.
I know it can be frustrating when Hollywood takes something sacred and jacks it up. I’ve seen too many movies and shows where this happens and it is always un-fun. The reports that this Noah is some sort of “first environmentalist” make me cringe. I truly hope that is downplayed on the final version of the film.
Now, I know if someone took stories from the Koran and reworked them, Islamic extremists would do more than boycott. The producers and directors would need full time security to protect them from the backlash. So it is doubly annoying that one of the only demographics in America that it is still OK to malign and general mess with is Christianity.
But rather than respond negatively, I want to reframe your perspective.
Don’t expect non Christians to act like Christians.
The people making this film are not believers. They are in business. They have seen the success of biblical material and have turned their attention to it in order to line their pockets. The moment biblical films don’t make money, they will be back to other subject matter.
They are not Christians, but they are at least smart enough to screen the film to different kinds of audiences to gauge reaction. The final version of the film isn’t out yet. And while the director may be digging on his heels on changes, it may still be closer to the right version in the end.
If this film flops, it will lead to less biblical movies from major studios.
It’s a tautology. We want more content from biblical subject matter. And we need non Christian studios to make that content so a wider audience can be exposed to it. But we want non Christian studios to stay completely true to the biblical account. If they don’t we warn people not to see the film. In hopes it will not make money and they won’t dare make a biblical film again. But we still want biblical content in the mainstream. And we need non Christian studies to make that content so a wider audiences will be exposed to it. And the circle continues.
What if instead of shunning Noah, and other films like it, we embraced it?
Go see it. Watch the final version. Be able to talk from personal knowledge about the film, not from articles written from early drafts of the script, or 2nd hand accounts from blogs written about the preview version.
Study up on the biblical story and be ready to talk about it. The story isn’t just about killing off most of the population. It’s about justice, mercy and redemption. It’s about God’s promise. It’s sin and consequences. It’s mercy and salvation.
These are powerful themes. They resonate with people.
Seize the chance to talk about faith with people who are talking about the film. Once in a while mainstream entertainment delves into the spiritual, and every time they do we should be ready to talk about our own spiritual journey. Remember the conversations you had after The Passion of the Christ and the last episode of Lost. Did you miss the chance to share about your faith?
The week or so after Noah comes out people will be chatting about it. Don’t use that opportunity to simply lambast the film over differences from the biblical account. Instead talk about what God has shown you through the study of the flood account. Talk about Gods promise to never do that again. And his plan to bring redemption to the current sinful world through Jesus. Or choose another theme or lesson.
Films like “Noah” give believers major openings to talk freely about their faith.
We should encourage movies like this. And we should be prepared to have a real conversation with people about them.
What do you think about the controversy surrounding this film?