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Genesis: The Creation and the Flood (1994)

Genesi: La creazione e il diluvio (original title)
An all-enveloping darkness. Suddenly, a child's voice, frightened, questioning, pierces the darkness... The first flickering rays of light begin to sculpt mysterious shapes out of the ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Annabi Abdelialil ...
Omero Antonutti ...
Sabir Aziz ...
B. Haddan Mohammed ...
...
(voice)
Haddou Zoubida ...
Eve
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An all-enveloping darkness. Suddenly, a child's voice, frightened, questioning, pierces the darkness... The first flickering rays of light begin to sculpt mysterious shapes out of the darkness ... Among them, a very old man. He reassures the child, exhorting him to see the wonders of the earth. And it is with this child's eyes that we will witness the creation of the world. Nature comes to life at the first light of dawn, recreating the seven days of the Creation. Adam appears, and is soon joined by Eve. Paradise could be theirs, but as time goes by, they grow restless, inquisitive... They approach the Tree of Knowledge - and discover pain, suffering and mortality. Their sons Cain and Abel play out a story that will continue to darken the Creation until the end of time. And angered by the corruption of Cain's progeny, by the lust and greed ruling the cities, God vows to wipe away his creatures and begin anew. With Noah and his family. The ark is built, the animals led into their pens,... Written by Anonymous

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16 September 1994 (Italy)  »

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a beautiful and uplifting rendition of the biblical story
4 April 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a magnificent movie. It clearly achieves the effect that the filmmakers intended.

It's a gorgeous meditation on the biblical story and the religious awe that inspired the book. It's an unusual film—a good thing, because it doesn't really follow any sort of formula. Instead, it builds up interest through the rather straightforward telling of the dawn of man, and it summons that spiritual part of us that can look at the flight of birds, hear the sound of rain, and listen to music, whereby we are transported to a higher realm than the one in which we live.

Many natural phenomena are used in this audio/video symphony. The look of wisdom and dignity on an old man's face and the words he speaks with such controlled mastery blend together and augment the constituent parts of the world as described by him, and causes us not to consider the science behind what's happening, but its grandeur. The scientist Richard Dawkins is a nice man. I like him. But it is at times like this, when I'm immersed in the spiritual rather than the scientific, that I genuinely feel sorry for him. It's wonderful to be able to appreciate the "science and reason" portion of our nature without discarding the spiritual part of it.

We humans are complex animals, and our thoughts and appetites run the gamut from the basest carnality to the most supremely ethereal. The two types of impulses are inherent to most of us—we are born with them: they are what make us fully human. Completely stifling either one seems just as unnatural as letting either run rampant.

That is the remarkable achievement contained within this film: the incredible control and dexterity, the decisions of the director over what to place in the film and what to leave out of it. There is the aspect of a symphony going on here. The images of primitive human conditions that combine in the mind and allows us to make that leap from the ordinary to the extraordinary—the same state of mind that allows us to hear a Beethoven composition and hear the sublimity without considering the natural world particulars of what frequency the notes are played at and the laws of physics behind tonality.

There really isn't a false step in the film. There are no sour notes, and nothing is out of key. Whoever had the ultimate decision-making power of what went into and what didn't make the cut in this film was someone cut from the same cloth as our ancestor who conceived of "In the beginning, the earth was without. . ." If anyone can identify with God it really shouldn't be doctors; instead it's really writers and especially filmmakers, the people who build worlds. Those who let light impose an image on celluloid and out of the darkness of the darkroom come forth a new world, limited only by their imagination and finesse. The Bible does say that we are made in the image of God, and as far as that goes, the director of this movie did a pretty good job of living up to that standard.

The film follows a nomadic family – a very nice one – at the dawn of man. Everyone should have a grandfather who is as good a storyteller as this man. The conditions are primitive but life is good for them, for this is a happy (and believable) family. There isn't much dialog between the characters, a good thing, because the intention of the filmmakers is to make a visual and aural experience; one in which they succeeded at beautifully.

Well, watch the movie yourself. If you understand where the people who made the movie are coming from you can judge the movie's merits based entirely upon that criteria. That's what I've done, and that's why I've given it ten out of ten stars.

For the purposes of enjoying this movie, don't worry about whether or not it's the God's honest truth. It doesn't have to be true. All you need in order to enjoy the film is to do what you do in any movie you watch—suspend your disbelief for the duration of the film. Kick back and enjoy a wonderfully uplifting experience.


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