Friday, November 9, 2007

Oh dear. Here we go again

Oh dear. Another movie is out soon. And it's going to destroy our morals. And it is aimed at our kids. Run for the hills, everyone!

I will admit that I have not read the second book in the trilogy yet: I started it, and found it hard going --- not like the first one, which grabbed me immediately and pulled me in.
But so far, the Philip Pullman trilogy "His Dark Materials" looks good: I just need the time to sit and read a whole book again without being at the beach. (And I have another book, "The Indian Clerk" ahead of the second book too....)

But I just became aware of a buzz on the internet of concerned Christian parents, especially in the US, worried that this is going to be another "Monty Python's Life of Brian" only for young children: or like Harry Potter, it is going to send them to hell.

I'm sorry. I like Rowling's books, most especially because she has got young children, especially boys, excited about reading. This is fantastic. It outweighs almost anything else, especially since the books actually espouse moral codes, good behaviour over bad, the triumph of good over evil.
And the movies have been good: super in parts, very good in bits, and overall very solidly well made, cast, acted. There's a reason they have been blockbuster successes.

I don't know whether Pullman has the same potential for good --- getting kids reading: but his first book of the three is thought provoking, well written, and is certainly presented from the point of view of good versus evil. From the point of view that the good side is the good side, I'd say.
It is true, I suppose, that the characters could be said to be believers in a parody of religion. It could be said. Mind you, the same could even more truly be said of many real life religious people, including, I suspect, more than a few of those objecting to the upcoming movie.

Tell you what: I'd be more than happy to have a label slapped on the front of the theatre posters saying "This movie may offend certain people of some beliefs", so long as the same is done for every other movie that offends others of other beliefs. Unfortunately, that leaves us with just about zero movie posters unmodified.

So, let's agree that if you find this movie offensive, you can email everyone you want, campaign to persuade like minded people not to see it: but remember: if you try to keep it out of the theatres to prevent others from watching it if they choose to, then that is intruding on our rights.

Ugh. Definitely an ughlier post than I intended to write. But I got started, and couldn't focus on finishing the post....

Yours, moved to write.


alice c said...

MissM got bored by the time she got to the third book. I wonder if children are as susceptible to the underlying aggressive atheism as we fear.

bcmomtoo said...

I read all three books and really enjoyed them. I never noticed or thought about all the anti-religious or anti-God themes that are supposedly in there. I might read the books again just to see.

Anyway, great post! I agree with you on all points.