On March 28, Paramount Pictures will premiere its much anticipated film, “Noah,” featuring Russell Crowe, in the United States.
However, some groups are upset with the movie about the biblical figure. Director Darren Aronofsky’s Hollywood film adaptation of the well-known biblical story is already receiving harsh criticism about his creative choices.
Aronofsky is being chastised for steering away from the original version in the Bible.
The question that remains is how far art interpretation can go without being considered disrespectful to sacred scripture. Many Christian and Jewish groups have publically announced their dislike for the movie because of its inaccurate portrayal of Noah.
Some Middle Eastern countries, such as Qatar and Bahrain, firmly believe in respect for biblical stories and have gone a step further, issuing a countrywide ban on the movie. The movie was banned for being “a contradicting portrayal of a prophet.”
Islamic organizations have also issued a “fatwa,” or a legal opinion a religious scholar can give on issues dealing with Islamic law. Several other countries are expected to follow in their footsteps.
Egypt has not yet banned the film, but a fatwa was issued, indicating that a ban is probable. Protests in Islamic countries continue to take place due to depictions of holy figures in art, creating more cultural tensions.
With all of the bad press “Noah” has received, Paramount Pictures has decided to issue the following disclaimer: “The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”
Editor’s Note: Information from this article was taken from the LA Times and USA Today.