Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

*Disclaimer - To those of you who have not seen the film and would like to, there are no revealing details of the movie talked about in this post.

Because of a contest by my local paper, I got to see a special screening of The Da Vinci Code yesterday. While standing around waiting to be let into the theater, my guest and I overheard many conversations about the topic of the movie. They ranged from "If my church knew I was here....." to "People really need to chill out. It's fiction, people!"

My guest, in reaction to the conversations around us, said, "Yes, this story is a work of fiction, but it does include just enough historical fact to make it plausible. But that's the key word, "plausible." I agree that it is a work of fiction.

But if this is a work of fiction, why then are people getting so upset over this movie? I believe it has to do with the interpretation of Christianity and how people view their religion. There are so many versions of what has happened in the history of the rise of Christianity, that it is difficult to say what really happened when everything is open to interpretation. We do know that there were early Christian writings that were left out of the bible for whatever reason(s). We do know that there was a council that voted on the content of what we now know as the Bible. It is my interpretation that they had a specific agenda when choosing what writings to consolidate into a book of the religion. There is an age old adage in history - the winners write the history. We can never truly know the why or how of what we ended up knowing as "Christianity." We can only know what it is now.

Another reason I believe people are upset over this movie is that it also has to do with people's social groups (mostly churches) telling people about the 'evils and dangers' of this movie. The only thing that I can see that might be dangerous to those that follow a certain path is that it will lead them to question their system of belief.

A similar reaction of protesting and boycotting of a movie happened back in 1999. Do you remember when the movie "Dogma" came out? The director, Kevin Smith, and a couple of friends decided to go "protest," took up signs and marched with them for awhile, with none of the protesters recognizing him (he is in the movie). Finally his friend asked them if they had seen the movie, and they said that they hadn't. Well, how can you know what it is all about if you don't see it? I think that this is what is happening with The Da Vinci Code as well. People are protesting it without truly knowing what it is all about. (Smith's own words regarding this incident.)

In the end, if you haven't seen this movie yet, I would recommend it, but remember that it is entertainment. If it stimulates your interest, it may even lead you to do some research on the subject matter of the movie and lead to a better understanding of what may have happened in our religious past. And understanding and knowledge are always good things.


Autumn said...

It seems people everywhere are talking about the movie. I do plan on seeing it, and I have read the book. Let's just say it gives you something to think about. Nice post....

Sojourner said...

The funny thing is - I didn't know they had made it into a movie until I got the letter inviting me to the showing. I hadn't even heard anybody talking about it. (I don't have a TV, so I didn't see any of the advertisements leading up to opening weekend.)

I had previously read the book, though. The story is definately a work of fiction and entertainment, but not total fact as some people seem to think.

Mama Kelly said...

I read and thoroughly enjoyed the book and am looking forward to seeing The DaVinci Code movie as well

re: Dogma I love this movie!!
-- I persomally found it to be oddly reverant

it poked fun at what man has made of God and Faith and Religion while showing that the Truth is bigger than any of us can comprehend

Sojourner said...

That is a great way of putting it - "the Truth is bigger than any of us can comprehend."

Thanks for commenting!

soleclaw said...

The book and movie were great. I loved the book because it was refreshing for me to read things I knew for several years (like the history of the pentacle, and goddess worship, in a nutshell). I always thought to myself, "I wish some of the Christians I knew would read this" because no matter who you are or what you believe, reading books like The DaVinci Code inspire you to want to know more, to get to the bottom of things.

People are always quick to defend what they believe in the face of things they don't understand, and that is what saddens me the most.