My Passover trip home with The Boy got really interesting during the second night seder, when The Boy’s mother’s new friends from shul came for dinner, and they started discussing the politics of Israel. One group of friends seemed more sympathetic to the Palestinians than the other, and it was fascinating to watch them try and reconcile their views with the story of the Exodus. What’s more, the Haggadah we were using contained readings of oppression and liberty and peace from different speakers/writers, and when it was my turn to read something, a reading written by an Arab girl in Haifa whose family home had been taken over by a Jewish family by chance fell to me – not Arab, but the only brown person at the table.
Very interesting indeed.
Anyway, it’s appropriate, then, that my most recent piece at Beacon is the second part in my three-part write-up of the film, Noah, wherein I discuss the complicated issue of race.
2) They could midrash everything else, but they couldn’t midrash people of color?
Angels living in rock monsters? Totally fine. Two of Noah’s three sons not having wives with them (which they do in the source material), meaning that either we’re all descended from one couple, or Noah’s sons end up having sex with their twin nieces? Awesome. Hell, a story about A FLOOD THAT KILLS EVERYTHING ON EARTH EXCEPT FOR ONE FAMILY ON AN ARK THAT CAN ALSO FIT TWO OF EVERY SPECIES ON THE PLANET THAT THEY KEEP ASLEEP USING MAGIC INCENSE THAT SOMEHOW DOESN’T AFFECT THE HUMANS TOO? That’s cool.
But having the movie look like “a Benetton ad” is where they drew the line. Hmm…I don’t know… Having the cast not all be one race (that happens to be mine)? That takes me out of the story and makes it less mythical.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING?
If the idea of someone being pulled out of a story, or being unable to appreciate a myth because the world is made to look like the world doesn’t strike you as insane, it should. Because it’s fucking insane.
If you want to read and comment on my full post, you’ll have to subscribe to my work over at Beacon! For only $5/month, you’ll be able to access all my pop culture criticism, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists writing about the topics you care about. Check it out!