2006-05-15 10:59:00

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin.
Da Vinci bar-code

This week is sure to be spent in hot discussions about the Da Vinci Code film planned to be launched on May 18. There will be both indignant voices of Christians of various confessions and appeals to freedom of creative work, and certainly warnings against a threat of a counter-offensive by medieval clericalism. All this will certainly work to increase box-office returns. Generally, semi-religious disputes have become a rather common element of PR-strategies used by publishers, theatre managers, and filmmakers. It seems both religious public and ‘free creative’ community will soon be granted extra pay for creating noise at the right time and in the right place...

Against this background noise, the film should be seen as an ordinary commodity with a price tag and bar-code. It will bring nothing new either to believers or agnostics or atheists. Its idea is old to the limit: to try to justify sin, that is, illicit cohabitation of a man and woman, as much as imputing it to Christ himself. In a word, if He ‘did that’ we also can do it. Let us paint Him on the banners of sexual revolution, and people will follow our lead... Just in the same way Christ was pictured as an esoteric, a hippie, a revolutionary, a leader of a national liberation movement, etc.

However, despite all the power of brain-washing through this outadvertised film, people today are able to distinguish between fiction and history. Those who want to come to know real Christ are advised to read the Gospel and then to turn to Him with prayer. But those who are used to simply consumer a mass-cult commodity are free to make their own choice. Da Vinci Code will be soon forgotten, and you will receive promotional leaflets about all kinds of commodities including films and books on quasi-religious themes. Do not forget to keep an eye on novelties and chip off banknotes.

It all also shows though that things are not as bad as embittered critics of the film suggest. If ad people and filmmakers have set about to deal with (pseudo)spiritual matters, it means that people do feel a religious thirst. Indeed, the most box-office films have not been about Hitler or Voltaire or even George Washington but about Christ. It seems people are pretty sick about secular ideals and idols...