I ‘Noah’ movie that will make you uncomfortable.

I finally saw Noah today. What follows is not an interesting review (there are plenty of those out there), but the reasons I personally liked this movie. There will be no spoilers – simply a personal reflection.

It was not what I expected, and I don’ t like it in the way that I expected. The movie made me quite uncomfortable at times.  That’s a good thing as I do think people should feel uncomfortable every now and then – when you’re uncomfortable it often means you’re being stretched, which will possibly allow for growth and deeper understanding.

The movie is not an American, Evangelical Christian movie, it’s a heavily Jewish-inspired movie – this is reason number 1 I like it. It has the feel of Ancient lit, with influence from the Midrash and Jewish mysticism. It also is a Hollywood movie, so there definitely are some liberties that were taken – Aronofsky’s vision is very interesting.

I also liked it because I enjoy fiction, action, adventure, fantasy, and drama in movies. There’s also violence in this movie. If you don’t like these types of movies, you may not like this movie. ‘Noah’ made me think of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and similar movies. The story also brought to mind Madeleine L’Engle’s ‘Many Waters.’

‘Noah’ is not a straightforward account of the Old Testament version(s) of the great flood. I’m not sure how one could make a good movie with simply the information provided in Genesis. But remember, all movies that are literature turned into film must be adapted for the screen.

None of the above reasons are what made me uncomfortable. It made me uncomfortable because it’s a tense movie which makes you think about the human condition, ethics and religion. Who ever said the story of Noah isn’t uncomfortable, anyway? I happen to think it’s quite controversial, and often think it’s ironic how we think about it as a children’s story. The story of Noah is intense.

Personally I found the movie fascinating and a source for healthy discussion – conversations about ‘good and evil’, religion, and Scripture sound like an exciting outcome of this artistic interpretation.

Now, when I say it made me uncomfortable, I’m not kidding. At one point in the movie I actually said out loud: “Oh, my God, no”. (I won’t tell you why!)

For everyone who is freaking out about it and walking out of theaters, please calm down. This is a movie – it’s art. God is not hurt by this movie. Christianity is not affected by this movie. Rather, this is a good, entertaining opportunity for meaningful (and respectful) conversations about faith and morality, or simply a nice day-off activity.  Like any movie, this movie is not for everyone.



Remembering a martyr

Today marks the 34th anniversary of the assassination of the Archbishop Oscar A. Romero, one of the more influential theologians in my life.  Typically on the anniversary of his death I reread parts of his writings and remember why he’s been so influential and affirming to my understanding of God and the mistreated, the marginalized, the ragamuffins, as Brennan Manning would put it.  But also of the call to action-in-love placed on the Church.  I hear the story of his life (click on his name above to read more) and I’m moved and energized, and angered and indignant, convicted and reminded of the Gospel – scandalous as following it is.  In Archbishop Romero I see what a life lived for God, and consequently others, looks like — A life of sacrifice, personal growth, compassion, love, and humility.  As we find ourselves in the Lenten season his story strikes me all the more.  It strikes me as a challenge to grow, to die to self, to sacrifice, to repent of our participation in injustice and to live scandalously for God and God’s people – that we may be able to claim as Archbishop Romero did, that our purpose is to live for the glory of God, and that to live as Christians is to look to Christ.  May love be our guide.  Amen.