The Making of Noah

How accurate must a film be?

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Comments (26)

(19) judy, March 25, 2014 12:57 PM

From the director of the movie

I saw this direct quote from the director of this movie : " this is not your father's Noah". I think that says everything. This means the mesorah on which our whole religion rests is missing. What else do we need to know?

(18) Raisy, March 24, 2014 1:59 PM

G-d desires goodness and righteousness more than anything

I thought Dennis Prager's comments regarding "Noah" are enlightening. http://www.dennisprager.com/columns/

(17) Shoshana-Jerusalem, March 23, 2014 3:24 PM

falsehood is always bad

I don't think that Jewish parents should allow their children to see this movie. But I wouldn't make a whole fuss about is either, and cause a whole rebellion in the family.

So many people grew up with the wrong viewpoint (hashkafa) of Shlomo Hamelech-King Solomon, because of the movie, Solomon and Sheba. Bad and wrong impressions stay engraved in our minds, especially if they are seen and heard on a big, colorful and exciting movie screen.

Also, I am wondering why, if he already went through all the trouble and expense of producing this film, he couldn't have made it accurate, for the same money? Didn't he have a Bible?

Also, I doubt if this movie will cause people to read the Bible.
A friend of mine has a Philopin caregiver for her mother. She once asked the woman if she ever read the Bible and if she had heard of Moses and the 10 Commandments. The woman replied that she hadn't read the Bible but she saw the movie.



(16) H.E.Brown, March 23, 2014 1:40 AM

Noah

I agree with the Rabbi. If the film spurs interest in the study of God's word then that is good.

(15) Rebecca, March 23, 2014 12:53 AM

I have heard one Christian radio host encourage other Christians not to go see this film because it isn't Biblically accurate...the film is not promoted as being accurate, and they state it also has taken from extra Biblical books, possibly (my thoughts) the book of Enoch or others....I think it will be a good movie to see. I encourage other Christians to know that Torah will always have final say. Besides, we don't know what the days of Noah were really like, all we have is speculation.

Melissa, June 19, 2014 2:07 PM

Yes i'm on the side of tolerating this interpretation

i think people are unrealistic about hollywood. Are they interested in producing a biblically accurate version of Noah? What narrative do we have to go by? A list of facts and (maybe) a few midrashic tales? A bit sketchy .... At the end of the day, i would applaud Arronovsky's general fidelity to his own vision of a man with a vision - who was a human first and a biblical giant 2nd. I have studied many of the more christianized films, including the highly acclaimed Bible Series that ran on Discovery TV in the US and Canada, produced by Christians in the USA. Some very interesting choices. This series was upgraded to a film released by 20th c. Fox and ran in theatres beginning in lenten season (before passover); some of the excellent choices they made included beautiful cinemagraphic moments - a picture paints a thousand words. Looking again at Noah, i see that the Christianized films could be seen as lacking depth; lacking a causal relationship between why the tikkun is needed, why an Abraham needed to be born, why a Moses, etc. etc. and i appreciated it anew for what i saw it could pt. the way to for the liberal sect. I for one, came home and hit the books with renewed fevor in imagining how it was ...& will be in the time of mosiach.

(14) Anonymous, March 21, 2014 11:09 PM

What is the meaning of 'accurate'?

You are correct that if this or any movie stimulates one to read the Bible that is good but what if one twists a movie to their own ends? Here is a critique about the movie Noah "Noah has 3 sons who have wives. In the movie only 1 of his sons has a wife. She is pregnant and gives birth to twin girls. Wives for his brothers?
Only Noah and his family get on the ark. In the movie the villain breaks through the pitch and gets on the ark. He does not get off because Noah kills him.
There is an environment agenda (cutting down trees). There is an evolution theme and there are some magical arts.
Nothing like The 10 Commandments" No agenda there.
Liz

(13) Tammy, March 21, 2014 8:03 PM

Only the truth

When it comes to the Bible and God's word we should always and only tell the truth and NOTHING but the TRUTH. God himself said in His top ten commandments "You shall not lie". Changing God's truth into a fable to try and please people will never work or be approved by God.

(12) Shoshana, March 21, 2014 3:47 PM

Always a gamble

Even if this movie came from a top Torah Scholar with absolutely everything possible to know about Noach, it would still yield controversy. The rabbi is right in that it will make some of the irreligious question and want to know more. Also, when dealing with other faiths who claim this was right or wrong about it, we Jews can open dialogue. Noach is from the Jewish Bible, G-d's Torah, not Jesus' or Mohammad's versions. I understand how we take the portrayal personally because we protect the truth of Torah, but I also believe that every challenge and obstacle is a tool for growth. We may or may not like that this movie was made but we can grow from it regardless. kol tuv

(11) David Chetak, March 21, 2014 2:43 PM

Movie as more True than Truth

Although it may seem harmless, this movie can have the effect of portraying Truth when it is not. I have had many conversations with individuals who will argue from a movie perspective not knowing what the True Author had said (says). Torah is Truth. Could a movie be a graven image of Truth?

(10) Shmuel, March 21, 2014 1:09 PM

Not for my Kids...

For the uneducated or irreligious people out there - maybe. For my Kids - No Way !! I dont want them to have the image of Russell Crowe, in their pure minds, as Noach.

(9) S. Gelgor, March 21, 2014 11:36 AM

Education!!

I think the Rabbi is being positive; the negative comments about being influenced adversely only underlines the fact that people like that are completely uneducated & anything will influence them, are those that do not determinate the facts & believe anything that is given them. Follow the Rabbi's advice & study!!!

(8) Michael, March 20, 2014 9:48 PM

Will they truly seek truth?

The only problem I have with this is that not everyone who sees the movie will question it and dig for truth. Many will just believe it as it is portrayed on the screen, not sure what fruit that will produce.

(7) Goldy, March 20, 2014 8:55 PM

not so sure....

I would like to respectfully disagree wit hthe rabbi. I feel that torah is from god and should not be tampered with. If the movie was created by by g-d fearing religious jews then it would be a different thing altogether, but since it was created by someone whose goal is merely entertainment (and money making) how can we expect it to be a vehicle to convey the holiness of the essence of torah?

(6) Daralis, March 20, 2014 5:15 PM

I agree with the Rabbi

After studying the Torah, I know exactly what's missing in the movie, The 10 Commandments, but it surely can begin a conversation and peak curiosity to study further. I saw the movie when I was 9 years old. I since then have seen at least 5 or 6 more times. However, because of the movie and the children's book my dad gave us when I was younger, I wanted to know more,

The threat here for the Arabs is as follows:

1. If there's no one else but Noah and his family left on earth, that means we are all related somehow. G-d forbid.
2. Since we are all humans, we should get along better. G-d forbid.
3. Since G-d destroyed the earth and unrighteousness, do you think it is righteous to hate other human beings and to hurt them because of the hate having to do with religion? G-d forbid.
4. Could it be that they worry that a movie about Abraham will expose them and demonstrate that Ishmael was Abraham's son and that he already hated Issac? G-d forbid.
5. Oh and that instead of getting along and acknowledging the Jewish State and ceasing controversies and just living and working side by side would make more sense for everyone, just as brothers would? G-d forbid.

Movies are sensationalized, we know that, but they surely open up a dialogue and the curiosity for further exploring the facts, truth, and details left out in two hours. I pray, that this movie impulse many into studying and wanting to know more of why G-d truly destroyed the humans of that time. Perhaps, they can fear and respect G-d as it should be and stop the decadence, hatred, and decrepit behaviors in our world today.

May G-d a Bless Us All.

David S. Levine, March 20, 2014 8:59 PM

Second The Motion

The fact that the Moslems are against it should tip the balance for it. Noah lived before Abraham and come to the conclusion that there could not be many gods who sanctioned the behavior of most people at that time. God came to him and commanded him to build the ark, which he did and he saved the creations of God. The laws named for him are the laws that God wishes civilized peoples to follow. That's the take away that movie viewers should have after viewing this movie. I salute the movie makers for the enemies they made and for their work.

Maria, March 21, 2014 9:32 AM

You agree with the Rabbi...

I agree with you, therefore I agree with the Rabbi! :)

Sheila, March 21, 2014 3:11 PM

I also agree with the Rabbi

And love what Daralis has written.

I wasn't aware that Christians are up in arms about this movie, and am surprised if they are. Certainly not even one of my non-Jewish acquaintances has said anything that denigrates it.

Muslims - they are another story. And I wish with all my heart that we could stop taking their behaviour seriously, but we need to be hyper-vigilant because in everything they find reasons to hate, and from this they travel to plotting and planning, and from there another few hundred people are murdered. Nothing anyone can tell them makes any difference, because they actually relish hanging on to ignorance, misinformation and hatred.

Islamic people interest me. I've been reading Robert Spencer's "Infidel's Guide to the Koran", and see that TV and music are forbidden to them. OK. But living in the 7th century, as strict Islamists do and as they endlessly tell us everyone should do, doesn't stop them using mobile phones and computers and every kind of mobile 21st century device. It seems they live in two worlds, as it suits them: Sometimes in 7th century so that they can happily hate everyone and everything, especially us; sometimes in 21st century so that they can use technology to send viruses to people they don't agree with - for example, to me, which they have done.

Of course we can learn from this movie, even if indirectly. If I should watch it, which I'd like to do, I know it will send me back to my ancient family copy of the Hebrew-English Old Testament, and I will enjoy re-reading the story and familiarising myself once again with what I was taught as a child. Also, I'll enjoy the acting and special effects of the film!
Why not?

And the Islamists will go on hating and pulling the West to pieces while living off our welfare, and may even think about bombing a cinema or two - but their attitude is their loss, just as their lives of hatred eat them up, and no-one else - we hope.

(5) Malka, March 20, 2014 4:45 PM

Good and bad...

Rabbi, I agree with you. These movies offer secualar Jewish People an opportunity to connect with their identity and chumash on some level. As a child, I rememeber watching the 10 commandments over and over again, They always played it on TV before the Holiday. I would cry with joy during the exodus scene, cry with pain at the slavery scene and shutter with awe when Moshe was at the burning bush. It made such an impression on me as a child, and today in some remote way I believe I am BT because of its inspirtation.

However,as a religioius Jew I dont believe my children would benefit from films like this because , they live and experience the entire chumash in their studies and re-enactments at school. They read books and have dynamic morahs who teach them all about the Parsha.
I read my chiildren stories about the chumash. I find that there is no need to watch a movie that could present alot of inaccuracys and inappropriate scenes that are so typical of movies of today.
If parents are comfortable having children watch movies then I would say this is a good choice. If they are not then I would read them books and find ways to learn about Noach and the arc through other rescources (Classes, projects etc)

(4) LarryB, March 19, 2014 1:46 PM

Christians will view it differently

I think chrisians and jewish peoples will view it differently. Those who study the torah will look at it as intertainment, those who don't know about the torah, will look at as intertainment, oops, well.......

(3) Dvirah, March 18, 2014 4:52 PM

Illustration

Actually, I like the idea of bible movies since the stories tend to teach people values while containing much drama. But regarding mistakes...the film "10 Commandments" caused a friend of mine to lose points on a test when she gave an answer according to the movie instead of according to the text! So Rabbi Salomon's caveat is well taken.

Anonymous, March 21, 2014 3:27 PM

Movie muddle

A lovely illustration, Dvirah.

I've seen this happen many times in secular studies. Students have to read prescribed books for English literature, and today many (sadly) watch TV series or movies instead. The inaccuracies this leads to in exam answers are hilarious - but it's sad that folk no longer value book learning as they did in the past. I cannot live without my books, but movies have a place too!

This evening I watched a documentary about the Hitler years, and watched real footage of students (of all people) so brain-washed that they were hauling thousands of books by Jewish and Communist writers out of university libraries and burning them, chanting the name and author of each book (Sigmund Freud was one, I recall), and shouting in unison "We consign you to the fire..." It made me cry.

If the world once again ends up living "In Ishmael's House", this is what we will have to contend with, and so we have to fight Islam with all our might. Not Muslim people as such; just Islam. Reading its tenets, and what it intends for Jews and Christians, "infidels" that we are, is chilling and fearsome.

Meanwhile, one way to fight is to enjoy books, music and films as much as we can, while taking good care of each other.

(2) ross, March 18, 2014 4:48 PM

Oy, if I were a rich man...

And what about Fiddler on the Roof? Or the Jazz Singer movies? And every Jew watches them and loves them and laughs and says, "But they're just entertainment!"

(1) Eric, March 16, 2014 12:16 PM

play with it...

My daughters & I do watch these kind of movies, but play the "point-game." If you hear or see anything that disagrees with the biblical text, just point at the film. Sometimes we'll pause it and have a short 30-second discussion. We try not to nit-pick because it is a movie, but there are plenty of things to find. Like the 10 Commandments you mentioned: when son of Pharaoh takes Moses to the border and sends him out into exile, that's an obvious one. The film of Noah is probably full of "adaptations," but a great opportunity to check our own Bible-knowledge. An interesting note: we've discussed the Torah version of Noah (f.ex) for days on end and all's well. But try watching the same movie every day for 3 or four days and it gets boring...hmm...

AlonBarak, March 20, 2014 4:50 PM

Want to see it FOR SURE

I'm traveling to the states soon. I HOPE that this movie will be on the flight! What a refreshing change, a movie not targeting the HolyWood crowd.

KathyH, March 20, 2014 6:25 PM

Great Idea to Engage Youth!

I love the way you engage your family to listen with a discerning ear and learn from their experiences. This will extend into their lives and help them make their way in the world.

 

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