'Noah' Director Darren Aronosfky: Exxon Valdez Carries Echoes of Biblical Flood
Noah director Darren Aronofsky writing in the Huffington Post:
In 1986 I stood on the shores of Prince William Sound in Alaska. I was there, a high-school student with the School for Field Studies, studying the thermoregulation strategies of harbor seals. The area we were working in was exceedingly remote, truly untouched by human hands. It was vast. And I stood very small. Transplanted from the teeming concrete sidewalks of Brooklyn, I found myself struck by the magnificence and majesty of this virgin land. It was a feeling that I can only describe as Awe. Our professors taught us to leave the land just as we'd found it, carting out everything we'd brought in, even burning our used scraps of toilet paper. We didn't need to be told twice; it was clear that this was a kind of holy place, a sanctuary.
Twenty-five years ago this week, that very same beach was utterly debased. TheExxon Valdez ran aground, spilling 10.8 million gallons of crude oil over 1,300 miles of coastline. The untouched land was slathered with the dregs of our never-ending thirst for power and expansion. Remnants of that oil can still be seen on those beaches today, and marine life populations still have not recovered. The earth and sea that inspired my moment of childhood Awe has been corrupted, the sanctuary despoiled.
The quarter-century anniversary of that tragic event comes as my film Noah is about to be released in theaters around the world, and I cannot help but reflect upon the relationship between that terrible spill and the story from Genesis about how God nearly annihilated the human race because our behavior in this world grieved Him to His heart.
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