Behind the Scenes Story of Noah
By Ken Walker-
Now that worldwide box office receipts for the movie, Noah, have surpassed its $125 million production costs, much of the tempest it stirred in Hollywood and online has subsided.
I may be a bit late in offering my comments, but am glad I waited for my initial reaction to subside. The day before we went to see it, a friend posted a scathing review on Facebook, which at first made me wonder if he had gone overboard with his criticism.
However, after watching it, I had to agree, particularly with his point about its utter lack of biblical truth. The following week, friend and former Charisma editor Lee Grady posted a blog titled, “7 of the Worst Mistakes in the Movie, Noah.”
Other critiques ranged from its distortions to a complaint about its lack of diversity. Given the enlightened, tolerant attitudes supposedly embraced by Tinseltown, the latter was particularly ironic.
From my perspective, the most glaring error in this film was its portrayal of the biblical character as a self-righteous maniac destined to destroy humans while preserving the “innocent” animals.
Granted, Noah wasn’t perfect, as demonstrated by him getting drunk after the flood waters subsided (see Genesis 9:21). But for a filmmaker to interpret the man God selected to preserve the human race as a tool of destruction? That struck me as heretical; a friend commented, “At the very least, it’s sacrilegious.”
Tempering My Reaction
Despite these objections, a pair of experiences in the week that followed tempered my reaction.
The first involved a discussion with friends who had seen the movie. One commented about how it fascinated her to think about people who take misguided actions while thinking they are on a mission from God. Not just suicide bombers, but others like the Kansas group famed for picketing funerals and other events.
In one of His extended discussions with His disciples, Jesus spoke to that issue when He said, “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (John 15:7).
Which is why we all need a strong dose of humility when it comes to taking a particular theological or political position—after all, we might be wrong.
Soon after this, I read a review of Noah in World, a Christian-based magazine noted for its conservative political stance.
Writer Sophia Lee commented that although Noah contained its share of objectionable content, it spectacularly depicted the realistic horrors of the flood and God’s wrath. And, vividly captured the emotional and psychological aspects of this tragic story.
She also pointed out that director and co-writer Noah Aronofsy had a “personal passion” about the story and spent years researching it to create the film.
However, what intrigued me was her reminder that just weeks before Easter, Noah had people all over the world talking, blogging, tweeting and texting about this pivotal event in history.
“Perhaps some of them are going home and blowing dust off their Bibles, or asking Christian friends about the real story of Noah,” Lee said. “And if non-believers are asking and pondering the meaning of sin, perhaps they’re one more step toward repentance.”
I would add: Who knows? Some of those same people may have been in church on Easter. Which is a good reminder that before getting too wrapped up in debating any issue, we need to contemplate how God is using current events for His purposes.