“The persons and events in this motion picture are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons or events is unintentional.” This line, tucked among Noah’s credits in tiny, swirling, Tolkien-esque script, captures something very important about the movie: It was intended as art, not evangelism.
Critics may have dubbed 2014 “the year of the Bible” in Hollywood, but it’s a mistake to group every Biblical flick into one trend: Not all movies that crib their plotlines from the two testaments are alike. In fact, the biggest Biblical hits so far this year, February’s Son of God and last week’s Noah, don’t have much in common at all, other than their roots in the good book. While Son of God is an earnest story of heaven, miracles, and the salvation of the soul, Noah is a human drama, crafting a fantasy-like world into a parable about how people should act.
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Five years ago, Ilwad Elman left Canada to visit her mother, Fartun Adan, a well-known humanitarian activist in Somalia. Inspired by her mother’s work with survivors of gender-based violence, the then-19-year-old woman decided to stay for good. Together, the mother-daughter duo team helped to launch Sister Somalia, Mogadishu’s first rape crisis centre that empowers survivors to seek justice in a culture that downplays rape and gender-based violence.
The struggle for human rights is all too familiar for IIwad. Her father, a much-loved peace activist who rehabilitated child soldiers, was assassinated in 1996 by warlords. “He promoted human rights, he promoted education, all these things he did independently. And he inspires me every day. The work that I do is really affected by my father and my mother. Both my parents inspire me. And I hope to be able to carry that torch that they passed down, ” she said in a recent interview.
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I need this.