Having been raised in a Christian household, and a relatively devout one, the stories of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament were ingrained in me from a very young age. Or so I thought. I later learned that the stories I thought I knew from childhood were merely family-friendly versions of some rather grim mythological material—the Disney versions of scripture, if you will. In some instances, there were disturbing details I was aware of but didn’t fully grasp, such as Abraham being manipulated into sacrificing his only child and then having the rug pulled out from beneath him; in others, there were particulars completely omitted because they’re not at all suitable for children, such as Abraham’s nephew Lot being date raped by his two daughters.
That’s why I was relieved when I learned that Noah, Darren Aronosfky’s audacious interpretation of the classic flood narrative, decided not to shy away from some of the more troubling aspects of the original story. This is not a simplified version of the Noah myth, but one that reaps the source material of all its complexity and even adds several new layers to wring out every available drop of emotional and moral precipitation. Aesthetically, it seems that no one is denying Aronofsky’s vision, which exploits the landscape of Iceland to create his antediluvian (let’s just say “pre-flood,” shall we?) world, and the performances are top-rate across the board. However, there remains some contention about perceived departures from the traditional narrative, which I initially thought he (and co-writer Ari Handel) had dreamed up, but are, in fact, found in the Bible.
Here are 7 such examples of things in Noah that you may be surprised to learn are actually taken from the Genesis story.
Be warned, the following pages discuss several major plot details of the movie, i.e. possible spoilers