Clear and present danger

Emmerich reveals fear of fatwa axed 2012 scene | Film |

He blew up the Empire State Building and the White House in Independence Day, sent a giant monster careering through the heart of Manhattan in Godzilla and destroyed the famous Hollywood sign in The Day After Tomorrow. But it seems there are places even Roland Emmerich will not go – the German film-maker has revealed he abandoned plans to obliterate Islam’s holiest site on the big screen for fear of attracting a fatwa. …

But Emmerich acolytes need not fear that the film-maker is pulling his punches on 2012, which arrives in UK cinemas on 13 November. The movie depicts a global doomsday event supposedly predicted by the Mayans more than a thousand years ago – in order to highlight his opposition to organised religion, the director decided to use CGI to destroy the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro instead. For good measure, he also blew up the Sistine chapel and St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, plus, on a secular note, the White House (again).

Well, this strikes me as a little bit more than ironic, veering straight towards the ridiculous:

1. Emmerich is against organised religion (what’s the opposite of that?), but uses an organised religion to show his opposition. (Make that an extinct organised religion that indulged in ritualistic rape and the sacrifice of many.)

2. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter to a follower of Christ whether a ‘holy site’ is destroyed or not. It’s the enduring historical record and the divine revelation of its implications that define ‘Christianity’. So basically Emmerich picks on the ‘religion’ whose leader taught his disciples not to hurt jerks. Handy.

3. I don’t feel vitriolic about the guy though — this is just a bit of an eye-roll. I just can’t shake off the feeling that he’s fighting the wrong guy.


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