Revolution#114, December 30, 2007

Check it Out

The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass is a thrilling and imaginative adventure story that champions those who fight obedience to authority and the church. The movie, playing now, is based on the first of a trilogy of books called His Dark Materials, by author Philip Pullman. The Golden Compass is a story of parallel worlds, featuring a rough, resourceful and brave child heroine named Lyra who defies a repressive religious authority bent on producing a docile and obedient populace. In our own world, the Catholic Church has not been happy with these books, and is not happy with the movie. The Catholic League published a booklet attacking The Golden Compass, and says of the author: “It is his objective to bash Christianity and promote atheism.” A Catholic school district in the Toronto area has just officially banned the books from its library. And it has just been announced that the Vatican has denounced the film and is pressuring New Line Cinema to cancel planned movies based on the other two books.

Philip Pullman, interviewed on Canadian TV, said “The thing they should do if they don’t want people to read the book is to say nothing about it.... If you want people to read a book, then make a fuss about it, make it controversial. Tell your children they are not to read this book under any circumstances. What is more likely to make them go to the shelf and take it down and read it from there?” Go see The Golden Compass and judge for yourself, and bring your friends.

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