Thursday, December 20, 2007

Golden Compass

I went and saw The Golden Compass a couple of nights ago with a friend. As an escapist movie at the end of a very busy few weeks it was fun. There's all sorts of controversy around the movie and the novel it is based on because the author Pullman is an atheist and the bad guys in his novels are 'the Church', renamed 'the magisterium' in the movie.

I think that it is unfortunately that one Roman Catholic school board has responded to the books by banning them and in doing so have acted exactly as Pullman expects. For the most part I suspect that most readers won't realize that Pullman has a (anti)theological point of view. I have a friend who has taught The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for years and only recently realized that the novel is a Christian allegory.

So I don't think Christians should boycott the movie - see it and talk about it. But pay close attention to what is said about freedom. The underlying message is that freedom is more important than anything else and freedom for Pullman means freedom from any authority, constraint or tradition. At several points in the movie the words, 'freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose...' ran through my mind. It is questionable whether such freedom is possible never mind desirable.

At the same time, the suggestion that our souls walk beside us as daemons in animal form was really appealing to me...especially as Robbie struggles with another bout of congestive heart failure.


felix hominum said...

I think the story line is basically interesting, in that it raises a number of questions in a strong fashion. I have to admit I'm thinking of going to see it at a matinee tomorrow afternoon.

Plus I'm a sucker for any kind of special effects with a sci=fi bent...

Erin said...

The effects are great and the story is interesting. He's got a great imagination. I just don't agree with some basic premises in the novels/film. But I do think a lot of people are over reacting.

Erin said...

I look forward to hearing what you think!