Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Darkness or Light?

One can contrast the epic new “Noah” movie with “El Cid” to see how America’s cultural psychology has changed in 50+ years. Like all movies today, “Noah” looks dark. The dark shadings of the costumes and cinematography match the story’s dark tone. Our civilization is going through a period of cultural despair. Values have been rejected. The future appears hopeless.

“El Cid” used darkness as counterpoint. As an opposite. That which must be fought. The bulk of the movie presents brightness—the gorgeous colors of nature. It’s a pleasure to view. “El Cid” is one of the most beautiful looking movies ever produced.


Anymore, that seems to be the choice. (Excluding mindless hedonists of course.) We’ve seen what happens to nations which have rejected faith. Russia—the remains of the Soviet Union—is a case in point.

Vladimir Putin is nothing if not a rationalist. He witnessed the fruits of socialism and atheism. Russia is a dying nation. He’s struggling to reverse this. In so doing, he recognizes the necessity of religion. The benefits of spiritual purpose—portrayed so well in “El Cid.” A belief. A cause. Something higher than the here and now.

Russia is trying to renew itself, to climb out of the deep well of despair—while we’re moving tragically in the other direction.