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Maryland Church Members React to Noah


For several members of Silver Spring (Md.) Christian Reformed Church, the question wasn’t whether or not to see Darren Aronofsky’s Noah but how to respond and think about the film. A group of members ages 20 to 60 get together monthly to watch and discuss movies such as Crash, Minority Report, and The Sunset Limited. “We explore ideas and discern truth found in a variety of movies,” explained Michelle Wilgenburg, one of the group’s facilitators. This month, they watched and discussed Noah.

The group ruminated over a variety of topics. Some members were uncomfortable with the amount of violence portrayed in the film, others suggested that perhaps we’ve forgotten the suffering that took place during the flood and the violence served as a way to see the story of with fresh eyes. The group also discussed the function of the scenes in the film that weren’t part of the original story.

Several considered that Aronofsky used these scenes as a storytelling device. For example, in the film Noah struggles with whether to kill his baby granddaughter. In an interview about the film, Aronofsky said he wanted to portray how painful it would have been for God to destroy all he had made. “That scene was trying to make us feel that,” Wilgenburg suggested. “It parallels other well-known stories of the sorrow of a father who must kill his child: Abraham with Isaac, God with Jesus.”

Others in the group were intrigued by the character Tubal-Cain. Allegedly the most ungodly character in the film, even he converses with God. “We are cursed and forced to work by the sweat of our brow,” Tubal-Cain complains. He also begs God, “Will you not converse with me?” Russell Van Dyke considered that these are the sorts of questions we ask when we are wrestling with God.

Some said they would recommend seeing the movie; others did not think it was worth a viewing. However, all agreed that discussing the film was vital.

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