RIDLEY SCOTT – EXODUS GODS AND KINGS– 2014
First of all, for a remake, it is
rather well done because the director decided to get rid of the most obvious
unrealistic elements. To be short on the subject he got rid of all the static
scenes like the waiting of the Jews to start for their migration outside the
city, the never ending wait for Moses to come back down with the tables, the
golden calf and the breaking of the tables, etc.
Then he tried to make things
slightly more realistic, including with an Egyptian doctor explaining us how
the various plagues are nothing but a processing phenomenon: a rebellion of
crocodile make the river bloody and kills the fish that rot away bringing crop
failure, worms and flies and then some kind of skin infections. But he finally
had to come to less natural things: the locusts, well maybe, but then the hail
in the storm became frankly iffy, and the final touch of the death of the first
born was desperately mysterious and then we reached at this moment the problem
The escape sounds more logical in
a way but the crossing of the sea was of course not explainable. We knew there
was a ford but Moses goofed and took the road he did not know so that he did
not come to the ford. Then we had to believe the water went down all by itself
and then the tsunami was natural. Once again we came across the necessity to
The alternative is of course to
take this film as an action film. I must say Scott did a pretty job thanks to
some very hard scenes like the hanging of hostages every day. But then one
question comes up. The Hebrews or Jews had been slaves in Egypt for four
hundred years. That brings us back around 2000 years BEFORE our era. So how did
these Jews become slaves in Egypt
since Judaism did not exist yet since Moses had not intervened with their fate
yet? Were they Jews before Judaism or did they invent Judaism in slavery? Where
did they come from anyway?
But most of all this film is
speaking to us directly in the situation we have been living in for some 15
years now, at least. This world, I mean the western world as confronted to the
rest of the world and particularly the Muslim world, has been managing the
three main religions of our times, the three religions that were born in the
Middle East from Semitic traditions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, by
imposing secularism to them all, the French going a lot farther than the
English or the Germans. As long as we do not recognize the people around us as
equal in the totality of their existential personalities, including their
religions we are pushing them into some kind of mobilization against this
secularism and hence against the norms of the west.
In France we became hysterical about
“marriage for all” which excludes by the way any other solution than marriage: “everyone
has to get married” is implied, and that formula was there to cover same sex
marriage or gay marriage. Not to use the word gay or homosexual they got into
that phrase and that provoked the Christians mostly into demonstrating for “A
family for everyone.” In the same way anti-Semitism and the obligation for Jews
not to show their religion in public places like schools, hospitals or social
services, some are moving towards emigrating and becoming extreme Zionists. In
the same way finally the Muslims being ordered to hide their religious heritage
away from all public places including streets and train stations they are
pushed into becoming fundamentalists.
If you negate the essence of a
person, that person is going to move towards those who are acknowledging that
essence, recognizing it and even valorizing it.
That is shown so well in the
film. The Jews are refused basic recognition and humanity as Jews since they
are not Egyptians and they are slaves (where did they come from?), then they
will support any extreme action, be it from some men or from God. You may say “shibboleth
since God does not exist,” like the French extreme secular supporters pretend.
Then we saw this week the result in Paris
(remember 01/07-08-09/14, and there is no reason for not more to come.
Fundamentalist secularists are
just as dangerous as the fundamentalists of any religion because that extreme
secularism is a fundamentalist religion, end the worst of them all since it has
no God. In France
they have “republican values.” What’s that frankly apart from “secularism” +
“sexual multi-orientation for everyone”?
That film is a masterpiece.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU