Does anyone deserve to die?

Whoever sins deserves death!

Darren Aronofsky also believes that vegetarians are better people: His "Noah", driven by aggressive and intolerant ecologism, is an esoteric riot of awakening

"Thereupon the Lord said to Noah: Go into the ark, you and your whole house, for I have seen that you are righteous among your contemporaries before me. Take seven pairs of all clean animals and seven pairs of all unclean animals a pair, also of the birds of the sky, seven males and seven females, in order to keep the offspring alive all over the world, for it takes another seven days, then I let it rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights and wipe it off Earth all the creatures I made. Noah did everything the Lord commanded him ... When the seven days were over, the waters of the flood came over the earth on the seventeenth day of the second month, and on that day broke all sources of the mighty primal flood opened and the sluices of heaven opened ... The flood on earth lasted forty days. The water rose and lifted the ark higher and higher above the earth. ... Then all beings of flesh perished had stirred on the earth, Birds, cattle and other animals, everything that the earth had swarmed with, and also all people. Everything on earth that breathed the spirit of life through the nose perished. "(Genesis 7)

On closer inspection, it is astonishing that the story of the Old Testament ancestor Noah has never before been made into a film for the cinema. The only time that is remembered was John Huston's appearance in the episodic monumental film "The Bible" (1966), which he directed and is now almost half a century old.

In addition, only one of the first sound films, Michael Curtiz '"Noah's Arc" from 1928, is worth mentioning, which parallels the biblical plot with an episode from the First World War and the Flood with the "Flood of Blood" of the trench warfare.

This gap is surprising, since the biblical material seems to offer almost everything that appeals to a broad audience: show values, an apocalyptic end of the world, a strong hero figure and a clear moral message. The only downer: The outcome of the story is known and the figure staff is much more limited than in the similar case of the story of the "Titanic".

Ila: "This is the end of everything!"
Noah: "The beginning! The beginning of everything!"

Dialogue passage from "Noah"

This may well have been the thoughts of Darren Aronofsky, who allegedly wanted to film the story of Noah and the Ark since his days as a film student. And even if this monumental costume film from a prehistoric early period might at first glance have been an unlikely choice for this director, the finished film fits surprisingly well into his previous work.

There you can already find: a timeless cosmic creation myth like the esoteric New Age ham "The Fountain"; Exuberant, wild, sometimes psychedelic images for inner experiences like in the heroin drama "Requiem for a Dream" (Aronofsky's best film); a hero who is past his prime and seems a bit out of time like "The Wrestler"; an esoterically grounded, stubborn paranoia as in "Pi" or "Black Swan".

Actually, Noah fits in well with this director, who is more content-oriented than stylistic, and who shows a seriousness and obsession with detail and occasional self-drunkenness in his work that is unusual in today's Hollywood.

Aronofsky has always had a tendency towards mythical exaggeration. He is not a director of finer nuances, but rather the rough, blatant blocks, the dramaturgical and visual excess, the archaic values.

Despite all the effort, the result is at best partially convincing: The great strength of "Noah" lies in its visual power. The bulky ark on an ocean without coasts, resembling a giant container rather than a ship at all, is just as impressed on the viewer's mind as divine miracles in which a desert is transformed into a blooming rainforest in seconds, or that The flood swells for many minutes - without the resources and excessive use of the most modern computer technology, this film would not be possible.

"We only collect what we need"

So that the film is not over after a few minutes, Aronofsky expands the plot and devotes himself in detail to its prehistory: Noah's biblical genealogy of Set, the third, particularly godly son of Adam and Eve, is told relatively quickly and within the framework of conventions.

However, when he begins to psychologize the Noah character and to describe their original personal experience, the murder of their father by descendants of Cain, Aronofsky, who also wrote the screenplay, embarks on the grounds of free speculation. In the following it is also noticeable that Aronofsky not only expands the biblical plot, but modernizes it and interprets it excessively and paraphrase it in parts.

The director invents a fundamental conflict in human history that has lasted for generations between the "tribe of Cain", who have renounced God and live sinfully - which is particularly evident in the fact that their relatives are hunters and meat-eaters - and the innocent descendants of Sets.

These are godly collectors, pacifists, and vegetarians. Noah explains several times to his sons, who still need a bit of persuasion, that they should leave the flowers, after all, these creatures are also God's: "We only collect what we need."

"There are cities ahead of us. We stay away from them"

Aronofsky thus bases the prehistoric plot with extremely topical political messages: vegetarianism and ecological puritanism are the central commandments of this film, a hostility to cities disguised as love for nature and the original - "There are cities in front of us. We stay away from them" -, aversion to civilization and a fundamental cultural pessimism pervades this film.

Wherever possible, "Noah" takes sides with the primitive and anti-human and sympathizes with the Flood, understood as God's moral act of cleansing: Whoever sins (and eating meat is enough), this film says quite bluntly, deserves death.

Even technology is not Noah's thing. The fact that he can still build the ark and make it floatable is thanks to the superhuman help of the "guards". Aronofsky borrows these characters from an episode of the Apocrypha: Fallen Angels, whose promethical rebellion against God is punished.

"We'll do our job, and then we'll die"

The culmination of Aronofsky's rewriting of the Noah story is his plan to exterminate humanity, which in his eyes has only done evil to the earth: For even if the Bible still speaks of "the wives of his sons", there are here only one - the Ila consciously chosen by Noah because of her sterility.

"We will do our job and then die," is Noah's plan, and when Ila gives birth to twins through a kind of divine miracle, he wants to kill them. Respect for nature is paired with violent moral rigor in this film character.

Aronofsky apparently believes that he can bring the dead genre of the Bible film back to life. In fact, "Noah" is more of a Christian fantasy piece and a Christian fundamentalist one.

This is not a "fresh look" at the biblical story about Noah, but its description and falsification: Aronofsky turns it into a version of the story of creation that is reminiscent of an advertising clip for "Intelligent Design".

"The time of sin is over. Now is the time of punishment"

Aronofsky's "Noah" is a largely moralizing film, driven by aggressive intolerant ecologism, which presents an aesthetically and morally difficult to bear hero figure.

Noah is a right-wing man, a control freak and a tough father who commands women and children, interferes in every area of ​​life of his fellow men in the manner of a sect leader, and whose dialogue sentences sound like a fundamentalist sermon: "The time of sin is over. Now the time comes of punishment. "

Underlaid with music that is supposed to sound ethno-pluralistic and cosmic, a completely humorous film is told, which at least offers impressive images, but beyond that only pure ideology.

(Rüdiger Suchsland)

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