Religion and Film (religionandfilm) wrote,
Religion and Film

Black Snake Moan

I wouldn't normally suggest a Movie like this (because of the extreme amount of sexuality and drugs), but someone from the community said it had spiritual themes. In the spirit of informing you guys out there about current films with religious themes, I decided to check out a review and got this:

"Raw, misguided, twisted and, despite the film's Deep South setting, typical Hollywood. Black Snake Moan finds preachers drinking and cussing alongside other supposedly "God-fearing Christians." For example, after spouting the s-word, R.L. launches into a prayer for Lazarus, asking the Heavenly Father to provide divine strength for his friend. Later, it's Lazarus who draws attention to the preacher's expressions of "g--d--n," saying, "In your line of work, I wouldn't use the Lord's name in vain."

But it isn't just the foul language—abundant as that may be—used by believers that's the biggest issue here. It's the unbiblical sermonettes that seem to pass as spiritual truth. While beating up his brother and threatening his life, Lazarus randomly speaks of how Cain slew Abel and "God put a mark on him for his sin." Not long after, we find R.L. excusing the bluesman's actions, adding, "I think you did alright by God under the circumstances."

More significantly, Lazarus transforms almost instantly from a levelheaded Good Samaritan into a malicious, crazed, shotgun-toting recluse ... after reading the Bible. When Rae objects to being chained up like an animal, he screams, "I saved your life, I can do whatever the f--- I want!" He then cruelly adds, "Like Jesus said, I gonna sup with you." It's similar to the heated meeting in which Lazarus' wife announces she's leaving him. After viciously grabbing her arm, he says, "God forgive you for what you done to me," then threatens, "You better pray, girl!" To which she responds, "Don't you put a curse on me!"

Amid several other references to God, heaven and church (including a reading of 1 Corinthians 13:11-13 at a wedding), a telling scene has R.L. sitting down for a heart-to-heart with Rae. The two talk candidly about the gospel message of repentance, which Rae thinks is ludicrous because "you can't just turn around and ask for forgiveness" after you've lived a lifestyle of sin—"Why would heaven want people like that?" R.L.'s response? "People carry on about heaven too much." Still, he's right on track when he says, "There's sin in my heart, evil in the world ... but when I'm all alone, I talk to God."

I don't see myself going out and watching it, so if you do make sure to tell me what religious themes you saw.

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