Famous German philosopher Jürgen Habermas defines a public sphere as the “realm of our social life in something approaching public opinion can be formed”. Nowadays, these ‘spheres’ tend to be more mediated, or controlled, particularly on T.V. in such shows as ‘Q & A’ and ‘Insight’. Mediated public spheres are often critized for being much too trivialised and fragmented.
The recent release of Darren Aronofsky’s recent biblical film “Noah” embodies the previously mentioned criticisms in regards to the depiction of the tale and its deviation from what is written in the bible. In fact, an article from KHSB says that a local church in Kansas, US planned to screen the film exclusively to the church and then discuss the film’s accuracy to what is told in the bible. However, other religions have not all took so kindly to the film, and the film was in fact banned in Malaysia as it dishonoured Islamic rules in regards to the depiction of prophets.
Source: 2014. . [ONLINE] Available at:http://theramblingstone.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/noah-movie-psoter-6601.jpg. [Accessed 06 April 2014].
Having seen the film as a non-church goer, I personally enjoyed the film and found nothing to get angry about. However, I understand that more religious people may perceive the film differently than I did and so I do understand why the film may have angered some people.
However, the question remains: Could the film’s controversy be discussed in a mediated public sphere? Why of course it could! A show such as ‘Q & A’ could prove the perfect format for a debate regarding the film’s controversial depiction of Noah’s Ark.
- Habermas, Jurgen. (1989). The Public Sphere: An Encyclopaedia Article. In Critical Theory and Society: A Reader. Stephen Eric Bronner and Douglas M Kellner. New York: Routledge. pp 136-142. reproduced in Media and Cultural Studies: key works. Meenakshi Gigi Durham and Douglas M Kellner (ed). (2001) Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. pp102-107
- Church: controversy over ‘Noah’ movie provides teaching opportunity – KSHB.com. 2014. Church: controversy over ‘Noah’ movie provides teaching opportunity – KSHB.com. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.kshb.com/news/region-kansas/overland-park/church-controversy-over-noah-movie-provides-opportunity-to-teach-faith. [Accessed 06 April 2014].
- Malaysia bans Noah film as ‘un-Islamic’ | Showbiz | GMA News Online. 2014.Malaysia bans Noah film as ‘un-Islamic’ | Showbiz | GMA News Online. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/355629/showbiz/showbizabroad/malaysia-bans-noah-film-as-un-islamic. [Accessed 06 April 2014].
- Noah – Official Trailer (2014) [HD] Russell Crowe, Emma Watson – YouTube. 2014. Noah – Official Trailer (2014) [HD] Russell Crowe, Emma Watson – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OSaJE2rqxU. [Accessed 06 April 2014].