Spoiler alert: Morgan Freeman does not play God in Exodus: Gods and Kings. And this is only one of the many courageous risks that director Ridley Scott took in bringing the story of Moses to life in the just released movie. Instead of trying to depict the literal text of the Bible as we saw in the 10 Commandments with Charlton Heston, Ridley Scott does midrash - Hollywood style.
For those of you that have read the Bible and for those of you that have it in your ibooks queue, what you may not know is that it does not read like Gone Girl. There are a lot of gaps, duplications and conflicting stories in the ancient text. Since the 2nd century AD rabbis have added Midrash – commentaries, stories and interpretations – to try and fill in the gaps and make sense of these teachings. These midrashim have become essential to the body of work known as the Jewish tradition because they bring the stories to life and make them applicable to our modern lives.
Exodus: Gods and Kings is Midrash in the year 2014. The movie was clearly trying to answer some of the unanswered questions of the Moses story:
- What was the relationship between the brothers in the palace growing up? Were they competitive or were they close?
- How did Moses talk to God? Was he delusional? Did he have visions? Did he see angels?
- How did the Red Sea part? Was it truly miraculous, or was it just low tide that day?
I am not a movie critic so I did not evaluate Exodus: Gods and Kings […]