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Dmitry

I think your comments about "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" are interesting. The film was made by a production company that specializes in producing Christian-themed movies and this was one of their biggest efforts. One of the founders of the company is a man by the name of Cary Granat. I met him a few times when I interned at Miramax/Dimension films in the late 1990s - he was the President of Production of Dimension Films and was largely responsible (along with Bob Weinstein) for that company's success. Dimension - a specialty division of the classy Miramax - was made to make genre films, notably horror and sci-fi. They gave the world the "Scream" trilogy, "Halloween H20," and many other blood-drenched adventures. Mr. Granat was one of the friendliest people I met at Dimension/Miramax - he introduced himself to me in the copy room and always said hello when he saw me - it is extremely unusual to show a lowly intern such kindness. He quit Dimension to create this new "family friendly" company after he caught his children at home watching the dailes of the film "Scream" that he had brought home. He was horrified that they were watching these blood-and-guts things in his own house. It sounds like, perhaps, with his new projects he hasn't strayed that far in execution, even if his intentions are - shall we say - higher?

perky

Phillip I agree with you about The Narnia movie. I actually got up and stopped the dvd while my 6 year old daughter was watching it. Yes, evil is dispicable and war is hell but did they have to film it with an almost diabolical glee? Just way too intense for kids, at least mine anyway.

philip

I have not read the Narnia books though I was aware that they are often interpreted as Christian allegory: Aslan, the lion-king, as a Christ figure who is 'crucified' and rises from the dead. But for small children who do not comprehend such symbolism it is merely the gruesome slaughter (preceded by torture and humiliation) of a kindly animal figure while the mob cheers.

Christianity has always had a very dark side, dwelling on cruelty and suffering, which traces back to Christ on the cross. It seems to me that violence, torture and sadism play a large role in the spreading of Christianity: the 'conversion' of the Americas, the Spanish Inquisition, the rackings and burnings in Tudor England. One would hope that mankind might have reached a point where we were beyond such things but we continue to read about torture and inhuman prison conditions in the ongoing war on terror; of course our 'Christian' nation doesn't do any of the torturing first-hand. It's all delegated to third parties.

I was raised in a very Christian household; my parents 'believed' without doubt or question. For years I have struggled with the effects of my upbringing in light of the many unsettling aspects of Christian history (to say nothing of the basic questions of the existence of 'god'). My last attempt at organized, Christian participation was about a dozen years ago when I was very active in Dignity, the gay Catholic congregation. But after several months the questions bubbled up again. Despite the fellowship and the kind hearts of the congregation I realized it wasn't giving me what I needed. Not that I knew exactly what that might be...and I still don't know.

Lately I have been reading about Buddhism which is very appealing to me as it is a philosophy rather than a set of rules and 'bargains' to be made with some deity.

I continue to feel 'spiritual' without feeling 'religious'. And I'm finding out that a lot of people feel this way. The odd thing is, I am often extremely moved by the faith of other people and by music and art which were inspired by belief in the Christian way.

Perky, I'm glad that you turned off the DVD...as an adult I found it upsetting despite the 'attractive' qualities of the fantasy. I cannot imagine what kind of an impression it might make on a small child.

Dmitry, your story is illuminating in the context of what Mr. Granat found to be acceptable for others to view (and profitable for him) but not when it came down to his own kids watching. By 'distancing' the violence and cruelty in NARNIA, wrapping it is a fairy tale context and making it 'beautiful', I wonder if Mr. Granat thought we wouldn't notice. Did you see the film, by the way?

(I probably should have made this a 'topic' rather than a comment!)

perky

It's always interesting to me to read other's viewpoints on religion. I myself an a cornfed midwestern white girl who wanted to see what else was out there in the world. I found myself in India being married in a Catholic church by a German priest to an Indian man from a Muslim/Christian background. It's a long story that I won't get into. My daughter's godfather is such a devout and pious Hindu that I feel purified just standing next to him. I wish more people would stop looking at other people as the sum of thier religion, race, or sexual orientation. We are all brothers and sisters under the skin. Be a good person, treat others with respect and dignity, serve and help those less fortunate than you and that's enough to get you to heaven whether you pray to Allah, Jesus, Buddha or Vishnu.
And getting back to the Narnia movie, what really upset me was that this movie was marketed very heavily to a young audience. Big mistake.
Thanks for bringing up the subject Phillip.

philip

We have very common beliefs, Perky, and the story of your marriage is really interesting.

I think 'religion' is probably the greatest dividing force in the world. The whole idea that one belief system is 'better' than another has led to untold death and destruction over the centuries. The concept that 'my god's bigger than your god' would be amusing if it wasn't the basis for so many wars and conflicts.

We need to stress our common humanity if we are ever going to have peace in the world. Thanks for your message, Perky!

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