Sight & Sound’s latest Fathom event, Noah, fleshes out the tension between God’s ways and the ways of the world in exciting, music-driven fashion. While Noah is the third theatrical production to be made into a cinematic event, the story is the original one that Sight & Sound delivered in Lancaster, PA, when the company shifted from a revue-style to extended Biblical presentations with music, humor, and deep theological grounding. Audiences won’t be disappointed by the production, which captures the size and span of a reminder of God’s love and providence.
While the basis of Noah’s story can be found in Genesis 6, the story here provides more nuance and details. As Noah hears God in Genesis 6 and moves forward with the plans for the ark, the humanity of Noah shines through in Sight & Sound’s version. Audiences know we’ll get to the place of the rainbow and the new covenant in Genesis 9, but what was the background of Noah’s work and family? With animals galore and spectacular sets, the audience gets the whole package.
In the Fathom Event, audiences see the way that Noah’s wife, sons, and daughters-in-law understand that Noah has heard God, and respond to help him. But surrounding them, sometimes in the in-laws’ extended families or even in Noah’s brother Malek himself, are a doubting community, even an aggressively-antagonistic one. Noah’s heart and that of his family are breaking over the people they know who will not end up on the ark and will therefore be lost.
The narrative allows for thematic differences between the work on the ark and the people of the city of Nod, who are descendants of Cain, and who worship idolatrous gods. There is simple living, familial relationships, and collaboration between men and women in Noah’s family, while the city has become encumbered with political aspirations and power-hungry individuals who seek to advance themselves by holding others down. In between the two groups are the middle - what we might even see most of us as - that try to play both sides, and keep it “safe”. Noah pushes us to recognize the way that God’s love is all-powerful, gracious for all and still jealous for our monogamous attention.
Noah’s focus on God’s will for him and his constant return to praising God, regardless of the tension in his life, leads his family to pray, without ceasing. It’s a theological reminder that God will direct God’s people, but not in one-time edicts: God speaks through a perpetual, even everlasting, relationships. Thanks to Sight & Sound, we can see the way God moves in the world, and the way that people of faith can obediently follow, even in the face of great opposition.
Noah is in theaters April 9, 11, and 13.