The story of Noah in the Bible poses a serious challenge to religious believers. Taken literally and looked at without using a religious lens, this is a monstrous story of the worst genocide in the history of humankind, and committed by a supposedly loving god no less. Religions have for a long time managed to gloss over this story to obscure the most ghastly aspects of it. They spend time on quite a detailed description of all the preparation work on building and stocking the Ark, quickly go over the actual slaughter, and then spend time on what came afterwards, with rainbows and sunshine and birds and flowers heralding the dawn of a wonderful new world.
It appears that a new film about the story of Noah is to be released next year starring Russell Crowe as the Arkmeister himself. Here’s the trailer for Noah
For a commercial filmmaker who would not want to antagonize Jews, Christians, and Muslim audiences, the story poses a problem. This is because the before flood and after flood parts are, frankly, somewhat boring. What is visually and dramatically interesting is the actual rain and flooding and the conflict between Noah’s family and those left behind to die. How can you portray that without making god to be the moral monster he clearly is for callously killing off almost everyone, without ticking off your audience? Since pretty much everyone knows the story well, you cannot take too much license with the basic outlines of the plot.
Of course Hollywood is expert at finding ways to demonize any group and make them seem worthy of mass slaughter. I don’t know how screenwriter and director Darren Aronofsky will do it in this particular case but I suspect from the trailer that Noah and his family will be portrayed as a plucky little band of good and virtuous god-fearing people and the rest of the world will be represented by his local community who will forfeit our sympathies by being shown as a nasty bunch of people who first ridicule them and then at the last minute want to take over his boat and get on board.
In short, Noah and his family will be shown as the makers and the others will be the takers, not to mention also moochers and looters, who deserve to die and whom the audience will cheer the death of. I would be very surprised if there is even one innocent or sympathetic character, such as babies, shown dying by drowning.
In short, I suspect this film will try to sanitize the Noah story.