Exodus: Gods and Kings

 Exodus: Gods and Kings was released in 2014. I saw it at the cinema and again on DVD. It's the story of Moses and the Exodus. There are lots of good action shots and it's very entertaining. Ridley Scott, like most directors, feels the need to add to the story and embellishes the plot. For example, he has Moses leading a terrorist campaign blowing up Egyptian storage facilities and firing ships on the Nile. This is understandable. Film makers like to leave their own creative mark on established stories, as well as padding out the film to 144 minutes. So whereas some Christians will have left the cinemas irritated by these additions, I say 'what do you expect?'.

 There was one element of the film, however, that does disturb me somewhat. It is the way God is portrayed. This is of course a can of worms: how does one portray the indescribable? Believers like me are hard to please in the respect. Do we just hear a voice? Do we see an old man depicted? A flash of light?
 
Scott elected to portray God as a little boy. This is not too disturbing in itself; why shouldn't the timeless One be pictured as a youth? No, there were two things about this portrayal that continue to trouble me.
 
1) The little boy was petulant and spiteful. He wasn't a pleasant child. Only in the closing scene does he seem to smile. Moses objects to the final Egyptian plague suggesting God is unjust, but the petulant child seems to anticipate its effects with relish. 
 
2) The other, more troubling suggestion is that Moses' God may not have been real, but rather a figment of his imagination. Their encounters begin when Moses receives head injuries on a Sinai-tic rockfall. During their conversations, a camera shot showing Moses alone talking to himself suggests it's all taking place in his head. 
 
Although the plagues and the Red Sea crossing denote evidence of the supernatural, there is a suggestion in the film that Moses' God exists in his mind and no where else. He even carves the Decalogue himself, while his invisible friend apparently makes him cups of tea.
 
I always welcome films about biblical themes as they keep God and His people in our cultural consciousness. This is a film, however, which atheists and sceptics would have little difficulty believing. Scott might argue this is the film's genius. I might argue that it's a shame the film salutes our culture's world-view of unbelief.