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There has been much ado over the movie, Noah.

As I often do with most big pictures, for which I have waited with some interest and anticipation, I ignored most of
what I had been hearing from the critics who had offered up their punditry based on early screenings to test
markets, and went in to the theatre with an open mind.
But before I get to the meat of *my take* on the film, itself, let me say a few things that need to be understood about
big movies, such as Noah, that, due to subject matter, create hype and controversy. hat I understood about this
movie, going in !without actually knowing a single thing about it other than what I had seen in the trailers" was the
obvious# it was a major motion picture, created by the motion picture industry, who have at the core of anything they
fund, a need to see revenue and profit. That is just a given. $o matter how ama%ing the visuals might be, no matter
the heart, passion or bias thrown into the writing and creation of a film, no matter who may love or hate it in the long
run, the bottom line for the studio that finances the thing, is the need to turn a profit. And that is not an innately evil
thing, in the very least. The entertainment industry e&ists and proliferates based on what people will continue to pay
to consume, just as any other company, corporation or sole proprietorship that e&ists. 'ery little can happen without
the potential to generate revenue and turn profit.
(o, movie producers, studios and distribution companies continue to live, breath and e&ist based on what they can
produce and sell. They spend a great deal of time forecasting the success of any given project, based on a number
of factors, and many times they have to be very cautious of content, producing only what they know will draw an
audience that will produce the revenue necessary to pay for the production and create profit on the back end. The
audience reaction at the bo& office ) initially gaged by opening weekend ) will determine whether any given
property will stand on its own merit, or skyrocket to blockbuster status, or perhaps even proliferate endless se*uels,
creating a franchise. In the case of Noah, we know, going in, that there will probably not be a Noah 2, and
+aramount was well aware that this movie needed to stand on its own feet, pleasing audiences enough for them to
recoup their investment and hopefully produce a nice revenue stream and profit.
Noah is the sort of movie that could not be calculated to capitali%e on its branding and merchandising, either, as
many big motion pictures do. There, honestly, won,t be any -ussell .rowe /$oah0 action figures, toy $oah a&es or
model movie arks filled with animal figurines lining the shelves of Target, al1art and comic book shops. This
brand of movie ) much like 1el 2ibson,s +assion of the .hrist ) simply doesn,t lend itself to that sort of ancillary
marketing and branding.
The appeal of Noah, then, had to be strong enough to allow the movie to stand on the dictates and anticipation of
the audience. And let,s not be coy, here, it needed to appease a certain religious mindset, while drawing the
attention of those who are uninterested in bearded3bathrobe3and3bed3sheet biblical offerings. The days of
.harleton 4eston and 5ul Brenner in gloriously technicolored, storybooked, epic versions of biblical tales is long
gone, and, frankly, lost on a more sophisticated, show3me3the3grit mindset of current day audiences. $oah had to
reach beyond the gloss of legend and fairy tale, incorporate the obvious spiritual mysti*ue and /power of 2od,0
while telling a story of real people in enormously fantastical settings. All the while, the penny counters back at the
studio are nervously calculating the public,s reaction to the film, and whether or not the appeal will be great enough
to pull in more then the religiously curious crowd for one showing on opening weekend, only.
hat I found interesting in people,s reactions to the film was that it was like watching a great divide in mindset.
+eople either loved this film or absolutely hated it. And much of the dislike came from religious sources who panned
the movie based on what they felt was the /tampering0 with the Biblical tale. And I will give this some credence, as
most people interested in a movie about such a religiously cherished story as $oah and the Ark, will approach any
big 4ollywood production with anticipation that the film will uphold their faith predilections and view of what they
have been taught 2od is supposed to be. And make no bones about it, $oah was judged and pre3judged on this
basis. 6ven such conservative luminaries as 2lenn Beck originally slammed the film based on other people,s
criti*ues, having admittedly never seen the film prior to uttering an opinion. 1uch to Beck,s credit, he apologi%ed
openly for jumping on the religious bandwagon, and took up the studio,s offer to come see the film, himself. 4e still
didn,t like it, but I found his criti*ue of the film to be based less on the story as a whole, and more on the fact that it
didn,t perfectly align with the /evangelical .hristian0 story of the great 7ld Testament patriarch and his %oological
boat. This seemed to me to represent a mindset that wanted only one version of the tale told, and that would be the
version that aligns perfectly with their point3of3view and religious teachings. Ignore the fact that real humans in such
off3the3normal3scale circumstances, would be a tale set in the ordeal of trauma, tragedy, survival and recovery, with
the characters struggling to assert themselves as more than mere pawns in an enigmatic game ) and you,ve got to
admit# it doesn,t get much more enigmatic than an invisible, Almighty 8eity casting all of his creation into chaos and
holocaust, all while creating a /mulligan0 for only a handful of his sinful humans in the form of a protective ark.
hat these sort of religious critics !generally found incorporated and invested in the /-eligious -ight0 movement"
did not seem to acknowledge ) or, *uite possibly completely overlooked due to an ignorance birthed from a singular
religious point3of3view, is that the movie, Noah, was based not only on the story as found in the Book of 2enesis,
but also on other ancient, biblical accounts as sourced in the books of 6noch and 9ashur, two 7ld Testament books
that had been eliminated from the biblical canon of scripture under the councils convoked by -oman emperor
.onstantine in the mid3forth century A.8.
And just in case you are not up on your history, .onstantine was a thoroughly +agan emperor who utili%ed
.hristianity to coalesce his empire. hen he launched the .ouncil of $icea, among several others, gathering
.atholic bishops together to determine matters of church polity, governance and scriptural veracity, the mandate
was not /2o seek the truth.0 The mandate was to establish unanimity. The bottom line for .onstantine had nothing
to do with truth. It was all about *uelling dissent.
The books eventually ejected from the canon of scripture were done so on the basis that the council could not
come to a unanimous agreement as to whether or not it was truly /2od3breathed.0 (ome of these books were
regarded with such a difference of opinion by the members of the council, that they were simply set aside, placed in
a grouping of writings known as the Apocrypha, and there they sat while others were tossed out completely.
The mention of the Watchers in the movie, was something scoffed at by many reviewers, when in fact, the
atchers, while not mentioned by the same name in 2enesis, were spoken of to great e&tent in 6noch and 9ashur,
two books removed from the canonical scriptures. 5et, even the Book of 2enesis mentions the atchers by
another name, /The (ons of 2od.0 In the 4ebrew language, the 6nglish translation of /(ons of 2od0 is
literally /bene ha Elohim !/those of the 6lohim0" And when you begin an arduous research into comparative
scriptures in the 7ld Testament, you find reference to the 6lohim as corresponding, not to angels, but to 6noch,s
atchers. (ame beings, different labels.
As a side note, the Book of 6noch was widely *uoted by other 7ld Testament writers, and even by 9esus, himself,
in the 2ospels, yet .onstantine,s .ouncils still found it unsuitable for the (cripture, and lost its place in the *ueue
for inclusion in what we have as our present 7ld Testament.
As for the atchers being represented in the movie as stone creatures within whom the spirits of the atchers had
been condemned and confined, it was a visual representation of, again, a seemingly little known account from the
Book of 6noch. The account of the atchers in 6noch, tells the reader that the leader of the atchers, (hemya%a,
as a result of his intermingling with humans and giving away /forbidden knowledge of the gods,0 was buried in the
desert, encased in rock for a time until 2od eventually freed him. The ancient stories of the /scapegoat0 can be
sourced in the annual ritual played out by ancient followers of pre34ebraic religion, in which they would send a goat
out into the desert as an offering to appease the /fallen god.0
The depiction of the stone creatures in the movie was a little too 4ollywood .2 for my liking, but it made the point,
added to the fantasy aspects of the film, and was, in a small sense, honest to the nature of 6noch,s writings )
despite their absence in the Book of 2enesis. 1any evangelical .hristians have absolutely no idea that these te&ts
even e&ist, let alone these beings, and they base their understanding of the story of $oah and the antediluvian !pre3
flood" world solely in the 2enesis account.
I also heard, in advance of the release of the movie, that Noah depicts its main character as an ancient animal
rights activist and /green earther0 of his day. This would certainly be stretch of imagination, but not inconsistent with
the type of character they were attempting to portray in the movie. $oah, in the movie, Is a man who respects what
is around him. 4e is shown as a man who believes that $ature is to be revered, and that this is an element of
humanity that has been lost. 4e was a man stirred to action by a dream encounter with the /.reator,0 who chose
him, he supposed, because he kept pure to the laws of the $ature. Its a dramatic vehicle. But while we are on the
topic of /purity,0 let,s address the understanding of what the 2enesis account meant when it calls $oah a /righteous
man, pure in all his generations.0
This has been grossly misinterpreted in 6nglish to mean that $oah was a /good, righteous man.0 In fact, in the
4ebrew language of the Book of 2enesis, /righteous0 meant /pure blooded.0 In actuality, when you e&amine the
linguistics of the 2enesis te&t, it clearly states that $oah was a man who was /pure blooded in all his generations,0
meaning that his family line was /of pure human blood,0 as opposed to the mi&ed blood of the rest of the population
of the known world at that time. According to the 2enesis account.
-emember when I stated that the atchers /intermingled with humans:0 ell, even that is found in the 2enesis
account when it speaks of the /(ons of 2od0 !the bene ha, 6lohim0" as descending to earth, choosing human
women and breeding with them, proliferating a race of mi&ed human;atcher offspring. hat you find when you
cross3reference the 2enesis account with 6noch and 9ashur, is that the earth was /wicked and impure,0 filled with
humans of mi&ed blood ) e&cept for $oah and his family, the only /pure blooded0 humans left, tracing their ancestry
!their generations" all the way back to Adam, the first man.
The reason I find it necessary in a film review such as this, to address these matters of biblical research, is to
establish that a lot of the criticism of the movie coming from pointedly religious circles, is plain and simply ignorant
to the information contained in the story. $o matter if you view the entire tale as truth, legend or myth, the story of
the Noah and the Ark is much more far3reaching than the 2enesis account, alone. !I address all of these issues in
much deeper detail in my book, The Rise and Fall of the Nephilim, $ew +age Books, <=><."
4aving an understanding of human nature, as well as a comprehension of how things were recorded in ancient
times, will give one a completely different focus on the movie, Noah, and a clearer understanding of some of its
seemingly fantastical elements. ?or certain denominationally3minded critics to see the film as a complete derivation
from the biblical story, is indicative of a mindset that wishes to see /only what they know and understand0 of the
story to be promulgated. There is so much that we do $7T know, so much of what we .477(6 to believe, that we
base our opinions solely on only one version of the ancient story ) which has several other versions that come from
different religious cultures, such as the ancient (umerians and their 6pic of 2ilgamesh, which would be an
incredible film all on its own.
Is Noah a good movie to see: Is it worth your ten bucks and three hours of time: In short, yes. It is an e&cellent
film with splendid actors and ama%ing visual effects. The Ark, itself, is one of the most anticipated /characters0 in
the film, and was based on the biblical descriptions and dimensions sourced in 2enesis ) unlike any motion picture
predecessor before it. 2one is the fairy tale version of $oah,s big, shiny boat with the curved prow and gloriously
maritime features, and enter, stage right, is a depiction of the ark that actually looks like something built of /shittim
wood,0 and smeared with tree tar. The grittiness is a welcome advent to the $oah story.
Is /2od0 mentioned in the film: Absolutely, yes. hile there is only one time the word /2od0 is actually uttered, and
that by 4am, $oah,s son, who says, /The .reator I( 2od,0 the film repeatedly refers to the /.reator.0 And we all
know they aren,t referring to anyone other than 2od, whichever way you want to mince this to be a watered3down
reference, as the ancients didn,t use the same vernacular we are used to uttering in our more modern liturgies.
6ven (olomon, in the 7ld Testament book of 6cclesiastes, refers to 2od as /.reator.0 (o, the argument that 2od is
not mentioned in the movie is as feeble as much of the other religiously based criticism of the film.
8id $oah, in the movie, run around wielding an a&e with the intent of murdering his family: Absolutely not. 4e is not
depicted as a psychopath by any stretch of the imagination. The film does, however, depict $oah as a man who
was greatly, psychologically impacted by his brush with the 8ivine, and how he struggled in his attempt to interpret
what it was he was supposed to be doing. After all, he is told to build a huge barge to save all the animals, followed
by a major geologic catastrophe in which he saw all of humanity destroyed. $oah,s story is punctuated by the
saving of animals, which the scripture even clearly states was not his doing at all, as the biblical account says that
2od /brought the animals to the ark,0 and this is clearly depicted in the film as being a huge supernatural event.
$oah, I am sure, suffered the madness of encounter with 2od that seems to be indicative of prophetic types down
through the ages. If he, indeed, e&perienced divine epiphany, and like most biblical patriarchs was simply left alone
to pick up the pieces afterward, you can be sure that a human being could certainly become conflicted over what he
was supposed to do ne&t. -emember, after the whole event was over, the biblical account tells us that $oah
planted a vineyard, made wine and became a drunk. +erhaps the coping mechanism of a mind that got a glimpse
of the divine, yet left to live the rest of his in the mundane world, waiting to see if it ever happens again, can drive
one to an apparent madness of sorts.
In the movie, $oah felt that he was divinely ordered to bring about the end of the proliferation of humankind, and he
interpreted his mandate as being the one responsible to kill off A@@ of humanity, including his own family, after the
flood waters had subsided and the earth was cleansed. 4e never chased down his family with an a&e in the film,
but there were times in this interpretation of the story, in which he believed that the end of all mankind was what
2od wanted as an eventuality ) even e&tending to the end of his own family, whom he interpreted as being chosen
solely for the purpose of saving the animals. 1an, as interpreted by $oah in the film, were the blight that 2od was
eradicating. hen you see the film, determine for yourself the kind of man $oah is being shown to be, and how you
may have interpreted what it was you were called to do. It is a very interesting take on the psyche of a mind
touched for a moment by the madness of the 8ivine.
SPOILER ALERT!! In the end, there is a rainbow, and all works out well.
e have been so immuni%ed from the reality of the lives of biblical patriarchs ) whether the miraculous events
attached to them are true or not ) that we forget that they were human beings, too, whose only uni*ue *uality was
that they simply e&perienced the divine on a very different level ) and even then, that encounter was usually at
mere glimpses, moments, visions and dreams, leaving the man or woman to wrestle for the rest of their lives with
what they believed they encountered.
7ne of my personal complaints with .hristianity, is that we have turned ancient stories and legends into biblical
fairy tales, /storybook3i%ing0 the miraculous and idoli%ing the people who encountered it. ?or many, the story of
$oah and the Ark is a true account, bolstered by their faith. ?or others, it is a legend and myth, made spectacular
only in the realm of faith, and the cultural history of religious tradition.
The film, while divergent in its interpretation and presentation of the ancient religious story, may fall outside the
realm of what we may have been taught in certain circles. 5et, it is inclusive of more information than we have been
e&posed to in our limited religious classrooms. It delves into the psychology of how this man and his family must
have felt, as the rest of humanity perished on the other side of the wooden hull.
There is a scene in the movie where $oah and his wife are sitting together in the dark, inside the ark, the flood
waters are raging and there are the sounds of people screaming and crying outside. $oah gently tells her that,
soon, the cries will end, and to simply do her best to not listen. This is an aspect of the biblical tale that we never
read, nor never been taught. hat was it like for these people to e&perience what they were going through: ere
they praying and rejoicing, or were they completely distraught, knowing they were sole survivors of a devastation
that wiped everything and everyone they once knew from the face of the earth:
The movie reminds us all that there is (omething much bigger at play, running the affairs of mankind and the
universe. The obedience of $oah to /the .reator,0 the salvific nature of the ark story are all intact. hether it is
based on a factual account, a legend or mere religious myth based on disastrous geological events, it presents a
real story of real people placed in enormously fantastical events. hat is truly gratuitous, in my estimation, is how
the (unday (chool interpretations of wrathful 7ld Testament stories attempt to lull us into thinking that they make
perfect sense.
1y recommendation is that you take the time, go see the movie, enjoy it for its entertainment value, then go look up
the story for yourself and read it. But enter the theatre knowing that the movie is intense, traumatic and emotionally
engrossing. 8o not marry yourself to the 2enesis account, alone, for the story of $oah and the Ark is much bigger
and farther reaching than the mere chapters given it in the 7ld Testament book that has come down to us in our
modern3day bibles.
As with everything, don,t let someone else tell you what to think or what to believe, but find it out for yourself. Take
in the information and process it with the brain given to you ) byA the Creator.