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Aronofsky also alludes to modern issues as well. The film, which has a broadly environmental subtext, depicts the devastation of the planet as an inevitable consequence of the violence of humankind; but it also has a rapid-fire montage in which this violence, and the possibility that the human race will keep on sinning if it survives the Flood, is represented by soldiers in many different kinds of armour—including modern uniforms.

From its big-budget visual effects to its deadly-serious approach to this particular story, Aronofsky's Noah is a highly unusual entry in the Bible-movie genre. But in its creative use of traditions outside of Genesis 6-9, and in its application of the story to the social issues of our time, Aronofsky's film is not unlike the films that came before it.

Peter T. Chattaway lives in Surrey, BC and blogs about film at Patheos. His earlier essays on Bible films for CT Movies include "Top Ten Jesus Movies" and "Mary Goes to the Movies."

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The Genesis of 'Noah'