Writer/director Darren Aronofsky’s film Noah is an imaginative and thought-provoking interpretation of the story of Noah (Russell Crowe at right) and the flood (Genesis 6-9). It’s a biblical epic such as we have not seen before, with an action-packed story line and stunning visual effects, including a beautiful computer-generated vision of the animals coming to the ark. It’s also an intimate drama about a good man, his wife and family, and the challenges they face trying to do right by each other. And it’s a quest film in which the characters ask the big questions: Where is the Creator? What does God want from me?
The last part of the film is an example of the process of midrash, a kind of reading between the lines of a story, filling in the gaps in the textual teachings by imagining additional developments in the narrative. On the ark, given the choice between life and death, Noah chooses life. Through this change of heart, the story moves from one about judgment to one about mercy (PG-13—violence, disturbing images, brief suggestive content).
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