Hollywood has the habit of twisting historical accuracies in favour of what it believes to be box office incentives or ideological reasons.
In both cases this practice has proved not only provocatively erroneous but ridiculously trifling.
The latest film, Exodus: Gods and Kings, reportedly costing £90 million, is causing an outcry in certain quarters – despite taking £16 million on its opening weekend.
Egyptian film censors have banned this so-called biblical epic saying it’s riddled with historical inaccuracies. They were particularly angered that the film depicted Jews as having built the pyramids, something which has long been disputed by the country’s archaeologists.
The film also portrays the Red Sea being parted by an earthquake – a different version of events to the bible which tells how the sea was parted by a miracle performed by God through Moses as he led the Jews to freedom.
The film’s cause was not helped by Christian Bale, who plays Moses and upset Jewish and Christian groups by describing him as ‘schizophrenic’ and ‘one of the most barbaric individuals that I have ever read about in my life’.
Egypt is not the only country to have been upset by the film. In Morocco, while it is not banned, cinema owners have been strongly advised not to show the film.
Biblical films have been seen as big business in Hollywood when the script is relatively conformable to the original text as recorded in the Bible. But Exodus, by flaunting an inaccurate historical version, has not opened to critical acclaim.
Forbes magazine described it as terrible, adding: ‘It is a badly acted and badly written melodrama that takes what should be a passionate and emotionally wrenching story and drains it of all life and all dramatic interest.’
Devin Faraci, a critic, ridiculed it as ‘a very white cast playing likely non-white ancient Egyptians’.
Although I don’t for a moment believe in censorship, films of this genre that do not respect the faith of others should have no place in our society. Instead of using censorship people should boycott such offensive rubbish likely to pollute the minds of young people who are easy prey to some of the film moguls’ malpractice, and whose only interest is to make money and bugger the rest of us.