At times, you have to pity Evangelical Christians – largely being ignorant of the Bible and the traditions it is rooted in, screaming that anything that doesn’t go on within their church is “witchcraft” (while laying hands on the sick, praying and doing all sorts of rituals that many anthropologists might actually consider witchcraft and certainly people of other religions might view it as such), etc. According to this review of Noah, this is one of those times….and I quote from the review:
“Noah,” then, is a film that fundamentalist Christians are right to abhor. It is midrashic, magical, and radical. Its characters are deeply flawed and deeply complicated. It questions the meaning of faith. It is, in the best senses of the word, quintessentially Jewish.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but this review has made me eager to do so. Aronofsky is a Jew and is coming at these stories from an entirely different perspective than Christians. As the review also states:
But most of Noah’s extra elements come from Jewish legendary sources: Midrash and Kabbalah primarily. Noah’s wife, for example, goes unnamed in the Biblical text, but the midrash in Bereshit Rabba 23:3 identifies her as Naamah, sister of Tubal-Cain. Aronofsky partially follows suit, keeping her name but severing the connection to Tubal-Cain. In Aronofsky’s film, the children of Cain and the children of Seth are almost like two different nations, never to mix.
So, this movie isn’t just a run of the mill Hollywood blockbuster hopeful. It is a Jew’s midrashic retelling of the story as it is in his mind. I hope when I see it I can be proud of it as a piece of Jewish culture – weaving the written Torah along with the oral Torah (Talmud) and revealed Torah (Kabbalah) into Aronofsky’s own d’var Torah.