Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Irony of the DaVinci Code Uproar

I went to see the DaVinci Code today. While it seems to have been largely panned I liked the movie, but that's not what I intend on speaking to here. At the end of April Vatican Officials called for its boycott. Numerous other groups have protested the film as well.

The irony of it all of course is that by reacting as they have to a fictional film, based on a novel that never claimed to be anything else, those who have reacted to this film and are offended by its content serve only to prove its point.

Now is the time for a spoiler alert, if you have not seen the film or read the book you may be well served to stop here. The premise of the film is that in order to justify a patriarchal message the catholic church had suppressed that Jesus Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and had a female child with her. In short, that Jesus christ was human, and that the catholic church would go to any length to prevent this getting out in order to justify a doctrine that serves to oppress women.

The uproar over this movie by the Catholic Church and many other religious groups makes Dan Brown's point more effectively than the book itself. It suggests that some are so determined to prevent free thought and questioning of church doctrine that they will go to extreme radical measures to prevent it. And there lies the point of this movie. Those who have put so much effort into killing this movie should perhaps consider Robert Langdon's (Tom Hanks) ending remarks. "Is it divine? Is it human? Can't the human be divine?" To question doctrine should not be something so actively fought, but considered. The Catholic Church has throughout its history been an organization less than committed to womens rights and equality. The movie is treats the Catholic Church brutally and in many regards with historical honesty. Maybe it should be considered whether it is really worth trying to destroy those ideas that question your doctine or whether it is better to consider the substance of the attack and admit ones past mistakes moving forward with more compassion.

As a side note, fiction is fiction ya know, its not like anyone is claiming this to be a documentary or to be factual. It is an engaging fascinating mystery flick, making a major PR campaign to get out the news that fiction is fiction seems a little odd.


Seven Star Hand said...
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Jen Rouse said...

Actually, at the beginning of the book Dan Brown makes that claim that all historical information in the book is factual. This is what many people find offensive about it.