Noah, the Superstar?
The National Catholic Reporter features this article, which deals with the current immergence of Christian faith related movies and television series in Hollywood. It deals with the question of whether or not Hollywood is embracing and celebrating religion or if it is just using the popularity of religion to make money? And in a bigger scope is the film industry simply communicating the stories of religion or are they taking it upon themselves to manipulate these stories, such as Noah, in order to ask bigger questions of humanity and life?
There are many varying opinions on the intentions of these movies and TV shows, spanning from liberal acceptance to strict Catholics who view this form of storytelling as misrepresenting and manipulating the stories of their religion. The main concept that came to mind while reading this article was the concept of myths.
The real question that I seemed to bring out of the tension due to Hollywood’s use of Catholic religious matter is the idea of whether or not the stories told in religion can be looked at as myth or truth. Taking the movie Noah for example, whether or not the movie made you uncomfortable could be based on whether or not the religious story in the bible was taken as a guide to shape the way human’s live their life or complete face value truth. The real issue lies in whether or not the audience is viewing the story of Noah as a historical event that lies the foundation for their Christian faith or if the story is viewed more along the lines of a myth in the sense that it is a story that has the power to shape the thoughts and discourse of individuals.
The story of Noah, if taken as a myth, probably wouldn’t create such a controversial issue for society. On the other hand, it should be greatly embraced because it is serving its function as a medium that can stir up thought about life questions, such as stated in the article, of why are we here and what is our purpose? If the movie functioned in this manner and through its popularity, was able to reach a greater number of people then there does not seem to be a problem for the Catholic community.
The problem seems to occur when these stories or historical events, depending on where you stand on the spectrum, are seen as true, historical events, which have laid the foundation and shaped the very meaning of Christianity. In that sense, the stories of the bible are still meant to shape the lives of Christians but in a way that is not allowed to be manipulated and bring up new questions. The foundation has been laid, through history, and it is not seen as a story that can be played with to change the relationships in society.