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(RNS) "Noah" director Darren Aronofsky describes where he got the idea for the film, how he plans to respond to critics and why he focuses the film on themes of justice vs. mercy.

35 Comments

  1. “But he chose love! He chose mercy, which for us is the exact same story as the story in the Bible, just put into human terms.”

    how is killing all of humanity equal to love and mercy? I love this director but hes not making much sense in his last answer…

    • Sarah Pulliam Bailey

      Sarah Pulliam Bailey

      Article author

      Tyler, it’s a good question, but I don’t want to reveal a spoiler to give away the full context. If you see the movie, the last part of it might make more sense.

    • First, it is important to know that archeologists have found evidence of a great flood from about the time period that Noah would have lived – a flood that covered most of the Middle East (which is one interpretation for “the waters covered all the earth”). Second, though Noah was found to be righteous, we see that he is a sinner, just like the rest of us who are not the Son of God. So all of us are in need of God’s mercy. As sinners, a just God would be obliged to condemn us. Even if you believe the flood covered the entire planet, God had mercy on Noah and his family. Third, if you look at the beginning of Genesis 6, it says that “all the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence…for all the people of the earth had corrupted their ways.” If you follow the narrative from Cain and Abel to Noah, you see a story of progressive corruption from disobedience to murder to reveling in our sinfulness to being “full of violence”. It is hard to imagine, but it is merciful to end a life that has no chance of redemption.

      • “First, it is important to know that archeologists have found evidence of a great flood from about the time period that Noah would have lived – a flood that covered most of the Middle East (which is one interpretation for “the waters covered all the earth”). ”

        No they didn’t. We have some barely tested hypothesis concerning the formation of the Black Sea which the news media and Creationists went gaga over. The “flood myth” studies have proven to be more indicative of the commonalities of riverine cultures than to any one real event.

        That being said, the value of the Noah story is not in pretending it actually happened. But as an early forerunner to the apocalypse story. Apocalypse stories give people a chance to criticize current society and fantasize about a “reboot”. Noah’s Ark is the granddaddy to The Day After, Mad Max, and The Walking Dead.

        • http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/evidence-suggests-biblical-great-flood-noahs-time-happened/story?id=17884533

          Perhaps I overstated my thought above – there is evidence, not proof, of a flood that may have covered 100,000 square miles of the Middle East, where Noah would have lived, when Noah would have lived. The point really was in responding on what “mercy” means. It’s a tough question, one I struggle with even now. Is it possible to be merciful to Noah and his family by saving them from the flood and also to be merciful to thousands of others by drowning them?

          • Very overstated. Much of Ballard’s findings linking the Black Sea events to Noah’s Ark are more confirmation bias than actual evidence.
            http://www.skepticink.com/lateraltruth/2012/12/19/robert-ballard-goes-out-of-his-depth/

            But your point was more allegorical/theological anyway so this is a bit of a diversion. My bad.

            But when you frame the Noah story like an apocalypse story. Noah being the first “doomsday prepper”, you see its literary power. Its a story about remaking the world. Having that wish to just “reset” society.

            The most important aspect of post-apocalyptic stories is the magnification of social issues. The worst of society gets magnified, the best of society becomes more precious in its scarcity. World destruction myths serve the purpose of illustrating why the good in society must be extolled to various cultures. In the Middle East, what better way to illustrate the wiping out of society than a flood. The most destructive and familiar form of natural disaster they knew.

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  3. My problem with this movie (and I’m SO disappointed, as I was looking forward to seeing this) is that people will be going to see this movie as Biblical… not a fictional story. And it is not God-based. I understand it will be discussed…. matter of fact, it will be ARGUED. Just based on the interview with the producer alone, and then reinforcing by reading my Bible, this is NOT the story of Noah in the Bible… but is certainly advertised as being so. Christians will know… my fear is for the ones who don’t know, but leave the theaters thinking it is. :( Satan at work again.

  4. Me snd my biological son ashton m wsy r catholic and presbyterisn god is good , but I do think the mormon religion is a white trash dump tiff leeis tiffanncarduccimargotti

  5. I am a born again Christian, and I was kind of hesitating to go and see this movie after all the bad reviews given by so many Christians. First, I want to say that I am very conservative in my views as well as I love Jesus, have read the Bible several times, and attend Church since I was 16. (I am 47 right now, and mother of 3). Having said that, I feel terrible for having even paid attention to so many bad reviews: The movie has MANY references to the Bible; in one scene, it even cites Genesis 1 and 2…exactly as it is in the Bible; Noah mentions several times that we MUST praise our Creator (and yes, one character (the little girl) mentions the word “God” (for those who said the movie doesn’t mention God!); the Bible doesn’t mention what happened during the months that Noah was inside the Ark, and the writer was imagining what could have happened: Trials, struggles, fights, etc. (I mean several months, living with people 24/7 there must have been all of that!); the evil man inside the ark, even though he actually was not there as flesh, represents the evil that I am sure could have still tried to make bad things happen inside the ark! The fallen angels (Watchers), even though these are not Biblical, they still teach us several things, and one of them is that they didn’t go to heaven UNTIL they had repented (meaning that God is so merciful that even if a person has been bad during all his life, if he repents even at the end, he will be going to heaven), etc.

    I would say that this is a Sci-Fi movie combined with a lot of what MIGHT have happened inside the ark, and with many Biblical references and Godly messages that might prompt a non-Christian to go and read the Bible. If you are a Christian, you would agree that this is better than watching a sci-fi movie with bad words and sex references…just think: If it were the story of Noah, like we have seen it so many times…would you had gone and seen it again?

    I mean, let’s support writers and Directors that could have talked about something else, but decided to talk about God and the Bible (in a very difficult environment like Hollywood)! Maybe that’s what Jesus would have done!

  6. He obviously did not read the book of Enoch which also contains info about Noah and the Watchers and fallen angels. The Book of Enoch plainly says that Noah’s seed will re-generate the Earth so it was always in God’s hands and not in Noah’s. He also does not undertand Hebrew culture or do extensive research. Noah’s children had wives and children by the time the Ark was finished. And the Earth was not an apocolypse. He obviously wrote a fiction crap based on a true event to promote an issue fraught with micconceptions.

  1. […] “If you read the story of Noah, it’s very straightforward. The character of Noah just builds the ark and collects the animals. But the struggles, the effort of building an ark, of being responsible for all those animals, being responsible for your family, it’s not explored at all. So how exciting to actually say, “Oh wow, here’s this great story, how do we put human emotion into it?”  – Darren Aronofsky, here […]

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