The repercussions of banning ‘The Da Vinci Code’

A still from 'The Da Vinci Code'As expected, the proposed banning of the controversial film version of the book The Da Vinci Code in Jordan has increased interest in the film. Here is an excerpt from a Jordan Times article:

…shops selling pirated DVDs in downtown Amman are awash with copies of the controversial film, which is based on the controversial blockbuster novel of the same name by American writer Dan Brown. DVD shop owners say customers are showing "unusual" interest in the movie. "The first batch of movies I brought was sold out in less than an hour. Customers are eager to know why this movie attracted so much attention," said one shop owner, who refused to give his name.

Meanwhile, Egypt is exercising still tougher measures. According to AP:

Police seized 2,000 pirated DVDs of "The Da Vinci Code" on Saturday, and the Egyptian Coptic Christian church demanded the film be banned in Egypt. The film has not been shown here and the government has not yet decided whether to permit it. Police arrested the owner of a local movie production company when they discovered he had 2,000 pirated DVDs of the film, a police source said…

I understand why the Council of Churches in Jordan would ask for the film to be banned, as it challenges some basic foundations of Christianity. However, the Council should recognize that in this day and time nearly anything is going to be accessible in one form or another. Banning the movie has done nothing but arouse the curiosity of the public. Instead of banning it, the Council could have arranged seminars to counter the allegations found in the movie, based upon a largely acknowledged fictional novel. In the US, some evangelists decided to go positive with their approach. According to the Economist:

… many other Christians, particularly evangelicals, are taking a different approach. For them the film provides a golden opportunity to get people talking about Christian subjects. Some churches are giving away tickets along with Starbucks vouchers to encourage post-film discussion. The Campus Crusade for Christ has printed 1m copies of its guide to the code. This Sunday, thousands of preachers across the country will be addressing Mr Brown’s book.

One reason why evangelicals are embracing Mr Brown is that shunning proved such a disaster with Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ in 1988. All the outrage and marches simply made Christians look bigoted and silly, and brought a tedious film much publicity. But there are two more positive reasons.

I watched the movie last week and I personally thought it dragged and failed to fully engage me. I thought it concentrated heavily on the theoretical and failed to invest in visual elements. The book was by far more engaging. Neither the book nor the movie has made me question the basic foundations of Christianity. But I went there with full knowledge that the movie narrates a fictional tale. Anyway, that’s my two cents. Here is what Sandmonkey thought of the movie.

4 Comments

  1. jareer June 7, 2006 at 1:38 pm

    My comment for now is that this movie, did give me a chance to discuss some Christian subjects with people I was eagerly waiting for years to talk to. Thanks for this chance; ” The table was pulled against the magician ” . PTL

    Reply
  2. Hamako June 7, 2006 at 3:03 pm

    I thought the book was poorly written… cool premise…zero literary value.

    PS Natasha; can you recommend a couple of restaurants in DC for me? Prolly gonna be there this weekend. Thanks!

    Reply
  3. natasha June 7, 2006 at 10:45 pm

    Ok Hamako here are some recommendations:

    -Kramer’s bookshop –(it is a bookshop and a restaurant) in Dupont Circle
    -Cafe Citron in Dupont Circle
    -Paulo’s in Georgetown
    -Cafe La Rouche in Georgetown
    -Clyde’s Lodge — it’s not the one in DC, but in Rockville, MD (well worth the drive)

    Have fun!

    Reply
  4. Hamako June 8, 2006 at 9:32 am

    Much obliged.

    Reply

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