As I’m been working on collecting my thoughts and reading other thoughts about the new film Noah, the Christian educator in me wrote out some questions. I’m sharing them here for those who are looking for such a resource. As a Christian educator, I should tell you, if you use these questions, don’t feel like you have to use them all. If anything, let the questions be a guide to having a conversation around the themes presented in the film.
Noah Discussion Questions
1. Which of the characters, as they are presented in the film, did you relate to the most? In what ways?
2. There is a lot of longing for communication with God in the film. How have you experienced (or not experienced) communication with God? What was that like?
3. In the film, God communicates with Noah through a dream. How has God traditionally communicated with the Church?
4. His father tells Noah about the tradition that has been handed down regarding caring for God’s creation. How is this a part of your faith tradition? How do you feel about humanity’s responsibility for caring for creation?
5. The film depicts the results of sin and wickedness through the barrenness of the earth. In what ways have you seen sin and wickedness depicted in prayers, hymns, or other forms of faith tradition?
6. Use this chart to compare the Biblical narrative with the film. Discuss how the filmmakers depicted different parts of the story.
7. There were a number of added scenes that were not recorded in Genesis. For example, the Bible does not communicate what happened on the ark through all the rain and floating. The filmmakers make an attempt to fill in that gap. What do you imagine may have happened on the ark? If you were one of Noah’s family members, what would it have been like for you?
8. One of the Watchers comes to Noah in the middle of the night to help him and his family get to Grandfather. Why do you think he came at night to help him? In what ways is this Watcher like Nicodemus (John 3)?
9. When Noah is describing his dream from God, he tells his Grandfather, “I saw death and new life.” How does this statement summarize Christian theology?
10. The first animals that are sent to the ark are doves. What do you think the significance of that is?
11. Ila, the girl Noah adopts and who will become Shem’s wife, is barren at first. Note other women in the Bible who were barren (at first). What similarities are they between them and Ila? What does barrenness symbolize in the spiritual life?
12. Noah changes in the film. At what point does this change happen and how does it affect him and his relationships?
13. What significant changes have happened in your life that has affected you and your relationships?
14. Noah and his wife have a conversation where Noah says that there is wickedness in all of us. His wife counters that there is goodness in us. How does this relate to the debate over original sin?
15. In what ways is Noah’s wife like the persistent widow in Luke 13?
16. In the battle scene, the Watchers one by one return to the Creator. What form do they take when they return to the Creator? How is this redemption?
17. While on the ark, Noah tells his family the story of creation. Temptation is symbolized by a black snack coming out of a green snake, living the skin behind. The fruit of the tree, beats like a human heart. A shadowed figure of Cain kills his shadowed figure of Abel. These images are shown throughout the film. Talk about each symbol and how it is significant to the Christian Story.
18. When Noah finds out that Ila is pregnant, he holds true to his task of destroying humanity. Why is Noah so certain that God has called him to destroy all of humanity?
19. Noah walks out of the ark and cries to God, “Why do you not answer me?” When have you had days like that? Why do you think God seems so silent at times?
20. After the ark finds dry ground, how has Noah changed? If you had such an intense experience, how would you have changed?