MARCH / APRIL 2015: BY CHARITY BISHOP
Ancient History is full of incredible stories … Greece has many myths, the Romans their centuries of triumph and devastation, and Jews have the oldest lineage and timeline in history. From demi-gods to Yahweh, the burning of Rome to Abraham, generations have read these tales with wonder, adapting them into religious beliefs and defending them to the death. Since the invention of film, Hollywood has revisited these stories many times, adapting them for modern audiences. Controversy has raged ever since, with viewers responding to or rejecting these accounts, depending on the respect shown to the source material.
Two recent major films were huge disappointments to their studios, both “based on” Bible stories: Noah and Exodus. Controversy raged over the negative depiction of God, the casting of Moses, the insanity of Noah, the invention of new characters and situations, and ill-advised remarks by the director and leading actors… so Christian audiences did not attend, causing both to be failures, much to their mystification. This has happened many times, yet studios continue to invent, alter, and twist the story to fit an anti-original story agenda, then wonder why we do not respond.
It’s simple. We want the story as we know it, as it is told in the historical or Biblical accounts. Would you want the ending of your favorite book changed? Or your favorite character turned into a villain? No! Tell it the way it should be told. No modernizations. No out-of-character additions. No political correctness. Just tell it the way we know it, with some good writing, and we will see it.
Out of all Biblical films, The Prince of Egypt did it right. It adapted the story of Moses through animation, but still is one of the most profound retellings of the story. Rabbis and other religious leaders were consulted in an effort to pay respectful tribute to the source material, with the basic understanding that it represents the history of an entire nation and is “sacred” source material.
The entertainment industry should learn from this. If they want our money, be respectful of the source material and the audience. ♥
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charity Bishop would dearly love to spend all her free time mulling over, theorizing, and philosophizing on the vast spiritual / moral lessons of cinema and Victorian literature, but alas, she must make a living, so her days are spent doing editorial work. She devotes her free time to babysitting her bipolar cat, writing books, blogging, and searching for spiritual truth in all aspects of life… when she isn’t editing Femnista!