To actually know the Biblical account of The Exodus in the modern world of the once-Christian West requires someone to have actually had a religious upbringing of some sort. But we made it through Noah all right, and survived the endless battle scenes of The Hobbit with only a mild case of ennui, so why not go see Exodus as well. How bad could it really be. Turns out, really, really bad. And you get nothing of the true flavour of this film by merely knowing that the critics at Rotten Tomatoes gave it 29% and the audience 39%. Bad films are common, although this went beyond bad, about which no review I read warned me even in the slightest.
There is a Book from which the story is taken. And when the Ten Commandments was made in 1956, which I still remember vividly, along with where I was and who I was with, they began with Moses in the bullrushes, put there by his mother because Pharaoh had decreed the death of every Jewish baby. Instead, we start with Moses as a co-leader of the Egyptian army against the Hittites, leaving out this small detail. And why was that. Just so that after the tenth plague struck down the first-born children of the Egyptians, Pharaoh can deliver this line without recognition that this is the work of a just G-d, who has tried using every means possible, to persuade Pharaoh to let his people go:
Is this your god, killer of children?
Someone who was a killer of children, and a slave owner and oppressor, really isn’t in much of a moral position to say that line. There is more like it in the film. But when I see that Ridley Scott and his backers have spent tens of millions to produce such a vile political statement, not about Egypt in 1400 BCE, but about the Middle East today, I am filled for the first time with a genuine fear for the future.