Monday, December 17, 2007

the golden compass

i urge you all not to go and support this film in the box office.
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The Golden Compass - Off Course
By Kathy Rappleye
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The Golden Compass, which is opening today (December 7, 2007), has all the trappings of a major Hollywood success - big name stars (Nicole Kidman, Ian McCellan), a huge budget ($200,000,000), and a trailer that looks fantastical and inviting. A rich, sumptuous offering for the holiday season.Its creators are looking for the beginning of a blockbuster series like Lord of the Rings, with increased book sales to follow.
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But wait a minute. This movie comes with a warning from Christian groups that might make you stop before rushing to the theater with your children in hand, because it is a watered down version of the first book in Phillip Pullman's dark trilogy His Dark Materials. This author, according to one Christian group who sent out an alarm "has been very straightforward about his agenda to indoctrinate children against God and religion. He does not try to hide his disdain for Christianity nor his desire to convert as many young people as he can to atheism."
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With good reason, Christian groups are claiming that this is a pro-atheist stealth campaign, disguised as a fantasy film.Pullman himself has always been open about his beliefs, or I should say non-beliefs, and his reasons for writing the children's novels. He has said in press interviews that "His Dark Materials" books are in response to C. S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia" written by Lewis to teach Christian ideals to children: "I loathe the 'Narnia' books; I hate them with a deep and bitter passion..." He has called the series "one of the most ugly and poisonous things" he has ever read. (As quoted in FoxNews.com article of Oct. 29, 2007 by Catherine Donaldson-Evans)
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The film is the story of a girl named Lyra from Oxford, England, who travels to the edge of another universe and becomes caught in a battle between good and evil. But the evil organization in the book is the church, and in the movie it is the Magisterium, a term for Roman Catholic authority to teach doctrine. While director Chris Weitz said he had to cut some controversial religious material from the first film for commercial reasons, he plans to be truer to the books in upcoming films.
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In the third book of the Pullman series, the children essentially kill God. The worry that permeates parents who are concerned about The Golden Compass is that the film is insidious, that while the director cleansed the first film to lure viewers, children will want to read the books, which are overtly hostile to religion.
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Young minds are vulnerable, and Pullman seems to have an aggressive idea about how to affect the rising generation.

5 comments:

Jen said...

hear hear! I checked this out a few weeks ago on Snopes.com and its for real. Tons of kids around here have read the books & are looking forward to seeing the movie. Oy!

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

I'd heard that the controversial points were removed from the first film, but I didn't know the film-makers planned to include them in any sequels. Where did you learn that?

You raise a valid concern that if the film is successful, it will increase interest in the original pro-atheism books. I've read some of the anti-church quotes from them, and they convinced me that there are many books I'd enjoy more.

Of course, since the film seems to be getting many negative reviews, its influence may be minimal and the sequels may never be made. We'll see.

Jodi Jean said...

well ... i haven't seen the movie, nor do i plan to. but my brother and his wife saw it and said that there wasn't alot of anti-religion in it. but i've read other articles and they are planning on doing the other movies closer to the books.

anyways the only thing i wrote was the first line, the rest of my post was copied and pasted. my mother actually sent the article to me, and i think more people should know. i had absolutely no idea and my hubby and i were actually planning on seeing the movie, as the trailors make it look so enticing!!

Nicole Shelby said...

Yikes...
I justread the trilogy...stand by for my book report...
tj and i were sick of the fear-mongery about the movie so away i did read.
but, just fyi...the kids did not KILL God.

Nicole Shelby said...

But, with that said...it is NOT a kids story.