A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)
Thursday, March 14, 2013
The Bible on The History Channel-- Some Thoughts-- Part 2
The portrayal of Samson left me scratching my head. He was portrayed as a character to be taken seriously when it seems to me the biblical narrative in Judges suggests quite the opposite-- a man who likes to nyuk it up too much with riddles and partying and who toys with Delilah as she tries to discover the secret of his great strength. The failure to portray Samson as an idiot who believes he is invincible results in one big FAIL as far as I am concerned. Judges portrays Samson as a judge not to emulate, something that was completely lost on the TV screen.
I made reference in part one of my review that the all-too Caucasian character of the cast was unfortunate, which seemed even more pronounced in having Samson portrayed by a black man. It's not that Samson's complexion would not have been dark, but it seems to stand out obviously to this white guy that Samson was presented as the token black character in the story. Instead of spending so much time on Samson, why not depict the female judge, Deborah?
Violence was front and center in the movie. That's understandable since these narratives are brutal. This raises the very difficult matter of the divine justification of violence in the Old Testament. But to go into that now would be beyond the scope of this review. I will address this in a future post.
Two things I will say on a more positive note. The portrayal of Saul as a tormented figure was well done. I also think it came out clearly from the depictions of Samson's wife, Delilah, and Bathsheba that in the ancient Near Eastern world women were without recourse when it came to the treachery and selfish desires of men. That unfortunate truth must be told.
I'm hoping part three will be better, but I am not holding my breath.