“When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (Genesis 9:16)
The rains came. The waters rose. The ark floated. The sun appeared. The dove flew. The ark landed. Noah worshiped.
The rainbow appeared.
The story of Noah’s Ark is well known and familiar to us. I imagine the flood as a massive time-out for humanity. God the Parent had had enough. As an educator, whenever time-out is used, the general rule of thumb has always been one minute for each year of life. So a three-year-old, for example, would sit in time-out for three minutes.
Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) is an American journalist who has relocated to San Juan, Puerto Rico as a freelance writer in the 1950s. He’s hired by a not-so-great American newspaper to write the daily horoscopes. At first he thinks it’s a joke, but alas, it is not.
As the film unfolds, there’s a tension in the air, and I don’t mean the rum-aroma air that almost seeps through the screen. There is a tension existing inside Paul Kemp. As he sits at Al’s bar with Chenault (Amber Heard) he tells her, “I don’t know how to write like me.” From the beginning of the film, we see this struggle. After witnessing his first Puerto Rican cock fight, Paul wanders off with a camera. He snaps some pictures of the local children in a trash dump. He then writes a story about the children eating in the dump. He wants to draw the attention of the reader to this great injustice. It’s rejected by the editor, Lotterman (Richard Jenkins). “Nothing will change,” Lotterman reasons. “You underestimate me,” Kemp replies.