We have a tape of the animated movie "The Prince of Egypt," and I have all sorts of problems with it, but at the same time, appreciate that my kids have a way to enjoy the Biblical stories in their simplest entertainment-value level.
Granted, it plays with the story-line. And I could have lived without the Moses-as-rockin'-dude moment and the Tziporah-as-desert-babe thing. And the moviemakers (Jewish) were so careful not to offend anyone else that they managed to offend me : ...
DH would like to throw the tape in the garbage, BTW.
Well, anyway, I know TNT or some such channel had movies about Abraham and whoever else ... and we all know about Richard Gere as David and Charlton Heston as Moses ...
Christian mamas I'm sure have a comment about Max von Sydow as Jesus, or Captain Christopher Pike (sorry, a Trekkie here ) in his version of Jesus ...
Any movies/books that you feel were particularly done well? Any that particularly annoyed you?
And please, mods, can we keep this in Spirituality? I'd like the particularly spiritually-inclined of any and all belief systems to be involved in this discussion ... (if discussion does occur ... :LOL)
On one hand I think that these kinds of movies can be good when they serve to open people's minds and maybe spark an interest in learning about spiritual issues.
But I do NOT like them when people view them as literal fact. So much in spiritual matters is open to interpretation & there are many creative liberties taken by the film makers to fill in the blanks and make it entertaining cinema. Unfortunately a lot of people get their history through movies and don't realize how much they are missing.
Since I was raised Christian I can easily spot flaws in "Christian" movies, and can find points that go against what I believe. But I know that they are not educational films... they are entertainment. The same goes for The Craft and Practical Magic. I loved the movies and it sparked an interest in me to learn more about witchcraft, but at the same time I did not take any of it literally.
There is another monvie made by Dreamworks, Joseph King of Dreams, which my friend said is a lot more accurate (although I haven't seen it) .
How much the artistic liscence bothers me is doirectly related to the story being told, how changed it is and what ois thier point. Prince of egypt bothered me becauise they were portraying fact as fiction when there was no reason to. It was too close to the truth for there to be that much falseness in it. Why not tell it the right way. But hten there is veggie Talse and since htey arej ust tryong to get the theme across and stray far enough from the story so that you not looking directly at it they don't bother me. DOes that make any since?
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
Miriam sees that the Pharoah's wife (not daughter??) was adopting him and is reassured that he is safe.
My daughter was a bit traumatized by the baby being forced to seperate from his mother.
Now, in the *real* story (as I assured her) Miriam offered to find the Pharoah's daughter a wet nurse, Moses' own *mother* (so she got paid to nurse her own son instead of having him either slaughtered or seperated from his mother)
Isn't G-d better than hollywood
We have found these type of movies to be good stepping stones to discussion with our kids. Our children have become very savvy at picking out the flaws in hollywood's portraials of Biblical stories, as well as classic novels they have read. It keeps the kids on their toes and helps them to develop critical thinking skills right from the begining. We don't want them taking anything they see on tv at face value.
I know that the Veggie Tales claim to be all about family values, morality, etc, and of course those are my values, too. But I feel that there is a deeper evangelistic message behind the cutesiness.
What I had problems with were:
1. When Jonah gets stuck in the big fish, there is a baptist-style church choir that sings a song, and perhaps I was reading in to it too much, but the ties and the shoulders of the choir gowns had a strong resemblance to crosses. Later in the scene, the pan out to a larger number of people and I felt I saw more crosses in the background. I felt this was a submlinal message of the Veggie Tales of Christianity.
Then again, I turned out ok, stuck to my religion, and very much enjoyed the "Davey and Goliath" claymation series on Sunday mornings, and I knew that it was Christian.
Islamically, both of them are objectionable, because it is not fitting for the Prophets to be portrayed by actors or drawn in cartoons, etc. Theologically, neither was close to what we believe about Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) and Harun (Aaron, peace be upon him), but as a Muslim, you realize that these movies are not made with you in mind. I have not seen the Joseph (peace be upon him) movie and have no plan to. Like another poster here, my husband was very offended by the portrayal of Musa's father in law and wife boogeying in the desert.
I've not seen any of the movies about Jesus (peace be upon him) and would not plan to, since they are all very far from our beliefs about him and his life. I would not really like for my children to watch movies about the Prophets that were not made by Muslims, b/c they are not what Islam teaches, etc.
There are some Muslim-made movies about Islamic history or Qur'anic stories. The most famous is 'The Message' by Moustapha Akkad (who made "Halloween") which stars Anthony Quinn, and never attemps to show the person of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or his close relatives. I think it did a good job of showing the very early days of Islam. There are also other films and drama series in Arabic, which I don't have an opinion of one way or the other.
There are plenty of cartoon stories for kids that, again, do not attempt to portray the person of any Prophet, but rather tell stories from the Qur'an or stories based on Islamic values. As the years go by, these movies are getting better (script wise and production value wise).
What are the Islamic versions of the lives of Moses, Aaron, Lot, Joseph, etc?
I have a very fuzzy notion that Abraham is considered a holy man in Islam as well as Judiasm and Christianity.
I also have a dim notion that illustrating prophets or any quaran(sp) stories is considered a sin (some people don't believe in any illustration because it is a graven image)
I am obviously ignorant about much of Islamic traditions and I would love to hear your version of stories that are familiar to me.
The folks who produced "The Prince of Egypt" and the Joseph movie (whatever it's called) did not claim to be observant in any way, so did not attempt to follow any Jewish reading of the story, and I agree, the portrayal of particular people (Aaron in particular) was downright offensive. I've already commented on the "desert-babe" syndrome.
At the same time, the thrill my children get watching the representation of the Exodus itself, that's almost worth balancing out the negatives.
DH grits his teeth ... and now that Passover is past for the year, has put the tape high up in the closet.
|Originally posted by DebraBaker
What are the Islamic versions of the lives of Moses, Aaron, Lot, Joseph, etc?
|I have a very fuzzy notion that Abraham is considered a holy man in Islam as well as Judiasm and Christianity.|
|I also have a dim notion that illustrating prophets or any quaran(sp) stories is considered a sin (some people don't believe in any illustration because it is a graven image)|
|I am obviously ignorant about much of Islamic traditions and I would love to hear your version of stories that are familiar to me.|
I think the more we know about one another the better connected we are, people who work toward peace and understanding.
I also appreciate the reverence I feel when reading your postings, a very sweet fragerence (can't articulate how I feel but it's lovely.)
JCSS--Lovely, moving, funky/harsh and music dreams are made of
JATD--Garish, annoying, seemingly made for kids. Wrong and sick making sexuality, despite the garish kid-cartoon aspects. Not a Donny Osmond fan, I was disturbed by my own feelings of titillation at seeing him topless in a long wavy black wig and an Egyptian loincloth. When he is almost raped by Joan Collins who is clad merely in a few well placed sequins, as Pharaoh's wife, gag! Each song is a different style--Elvis, French cafe-conc, western US, etc. Really rankling...
Actually, it really annoys me how some of the bible books written for children do not hold to the actual accounts...One of my pet peaves is the frequent depiction of the ark as a cutsey little boat with animals peaking out...and the nativity stories...Until recently I believed that there were "3 kings" who came to the stable...that's not what's in the bible! I spend most of our bible time clarifying info from books and movies....
I believe in telling children the stories just the way they have been given to us in the bible...if they are too young for all of the details...wait till they are older.
Just my opinion
t-elaine--the ark thing really bothers me too and the fact that the three kings came to the stable (not a house, hello Jesus would have been 2-3) is something I don't think I realized until recently or thought about.
The one thing I like about Prince of Egypt is the Exodus picture..I was so glad that they actually portrayed it as a huge body of water and not a 6" stream. Oh the other thing that bothers me about most Moses stories is that Moses would have known that he was a Jew while living in the palace. He was to stay with his "nurse" till he was old enough to wean..which would have been 3-4 correct? Now the thought of having my 3yo leave me kills me but that would have been what happened right?
As far the the Pharaoh (the brother not the father) I did appreciate the brotherly/torn part of the relationship depicted.
I have seen the 10 Commandments and some of the other tv movies...not lately though so can't pick out the flaws but I am sure I could when watching it.
We really like the ACTS and MATHEW series. They are read word for word out of the bible. (not sure what translation) They are good for an accurate portrayal of Christ (IMHO).
Veggie Tales...I go back and forth. I saw the Ester one and it ticked me off. I don't believe that Ester was a snot nose, whiny, immature girl as they portrayed her to be.
Jonah..really bugs me..of course that could be that ds has a fit just about each time we go to the store and dont' get it. I really hated the choir part when Jonah was in the belly. Ds doesn't like it either for some reason.
I do like some of the VT stuff but the fact that it isn't as accurate as it could be does bother me.
I also use the current movies as a starting point to discuss with my girls the truth as our family believes vs how the movie says it happens. We have some very excellent discussions this way. I also am amazed at the intelligence my kids show with their questions and analysis: "well why did this happen mom?" or "well that would be just like if we did such and such today mom." I love watching the thoughts ramble out of my kids' mouths. They are much smarter than we give them credit for!
I think with so many different sects of Christianity, we'll probably never have a movie or interpretation of a biblical event that all Christians can agree upon. We can just strive to understand what Jesus is trying to teach us now. I will be very interested to see the new movie that Mel Gibson is (directing? starring? producing?) doing. The one about the life/death of Jesus. Does anyone know the timeline as to when this movie is supposed to come out? Is it this year?next year?
You bring up Mel Gibsons film, I believe it's going to be called "The Passion." Supposed to be entirely in Aramaic and Latin. I don't know who speaks enough Latin to follow those parts, but the only people who use Aramaic nowadays are Yeshiva boys and rabbis who learn the Talmud (or study the Targum Onkelos in any depth). And I understand he isn't using subtitles, or at least that's his plan.
What I've read about the film seems disturbing, and various interfaith groups have said as much, too. He has a very specific interpretation that he is following, one that follows certain things, denies or ignores others, and basically is a reprise of the Passion Plays that used to play in Europe centuries ago.
Those Passion Plays are not allowed in some countries anymore, because of the horrors of violence and death the audiences would visit on ... a particular people ... after the plays stoked their passions.
Mr. Gibson has a very loyal world-wide audience.
This makes me very nervous and sad.
anyways...the Veggie Tales do not bother me as much as POE and J-KOD and such...because the VT videos are OBVIOUS fiction...a talking cucumber and tomato?...and these videos introduce more an idea such as standing firm on your morals, not lying, etc...while the POE is acting as if they are showing a true account with "real" people (yes I know there is a discalimer...but my 4-yr old can't read that)...I do love the Red Sea scene as well as in Joseph, when Isaac comes to Egypt to see Joseph alive (they always makes me cry) but the rest of the story has to be weeded out by me with my dd.
I guess this gives us that much more motivation to get to heaven...to see what it really looked like.
Actually, I LOVE the scene in VT Jonah inside the whale (we keep telling our kids big fish) with the choir. I actually don't feel like it's trying to "push" a certain message--I really feel like they were just having fun with the scene that no one knows about.
We say Jonah in the theatre with our kids and a friend's family, and we all loved it. Then we came home and sat down and talked about "what really happened." I had to keep reminding dd that there wasn't a school bus in the story of Jonah in the Bible ...
Just our family's .02.
I know it is basically for entertainment, but when one is to learn the facts, one can be very confused.
I remember a production one Sunday night on a major station with Jon Voight as Noah and Mary Steenbergen as his wife; there was a scene with "Noah" bargaining with G-d for the lives of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.
In the book of Genesis, Abraham is the partriarch and uncle of Lot who bargains with G-d for the lives of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, not Noah.
In "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat" production, Jacob has one wife (Rachel) and twelve sons.
In the book of Genesis, Jacob had four wives, twelve sons and one daughter. Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin, the youngest son, Joseph's full brother.
The inaccuracies in the "Ten Commandments" upsets me on an annual basis.
I know there are creative liberties taken, but sometimes the inaccuracies become full-blown lies.
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
Judas Iscariot wore a black leather jacket. The Jewish priests were in severe black robes, and the centurions had Darth Vader type helmets.
Mary Mag was black. She had a major role. She and JC were shown cuddling a lot. When he came into Jerusalem, they both were held on the shoulders of the crowd. He standing, her sitting, so he was higher than her (unfortunately, IMO, but at least she was by his side).
I really liked it, altho of course, the last half hour is so depressing and hard to take.
I haven't seen any of the older religious movies in a long time, Ten Commandments, etc. They are usually so negative and judgemental in tone...I left church because of that "critical parent" voice I kept hearing, I'm not about to bring it into my own home.