'Noah' Director: 'Least Biblical Biblical Film Ever'

Monday, 24 Mar 2014 09:54 PM

By Cathy Burke

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The director of the new Hollywood blockbuster “Noah” says his film is “the least biblical biblical film ever made,” but religious controversy is already brewing, with one early review noting that the word “God” never made it into the script.

Advance screenings are kicking up a religious furor from those who think the movie not only doesn't stick to the Old Testament but also portrays Noah as an environmental crusader, the Telegraph reported Monday.

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"The insertion of the extremist environmental agenda is a problem," Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters group, told the newspaper.

To stanch the criticism, the Telegraph reported, the Paramount movie studio is issuing an “explanatory message” to go with its marketing material as the movie, starring Russell Crowe, prepares to open in the United States this week.

It says, in part, that the film is “inspired by the story of Noah" but  “artistic license has been taken.” The statement also advises: “The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”

The studio also has released an eight-minute promotional video called “Noah Featurette,” packed with praise from Christian leaders, the Telegraph reported.

"Movies aren't meant to preach. Movies aren't sermons, and so if they can bring up the topic and start conversations, that's a good movie," said Karen Covell, founder of the Hollywood Prayer Network. "And this one made me ask questions."

Phil Cooke, a Christian media producer and consultant, said: “Christians have to stop looking at Hollywood as the enemy and start reaching out. Missionaries have discovered that you don't change minds by criticism, boycotts, or threats. You change minds by developing a relationship and a sense of trust.”

The movie has been banned in many Muslim countries, the Telegraph reported, because it depicts a Koranic prophet, a taboo in the Islamic world.

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