I hadn’t really planned to go watch the Da Vinci Code movie, but then a discussion started on one of my favourite hangouts, macnyt.dk, and I ordered a ticket. Pure impulse, I really need to work on that ;-).
I actually read the book before it became really big. I picked it up in JFK Airport in April 2004, on my way home from my visit to New York City, mostly because I needed something to read on the long flight, and the title, and the cover notes, sounded interesting.
Being my lazy self, I didn’t really start reading the book until the fall of 2004, and by then the media hoopla was gearing up.
I’m not going to engage in a discussion about the problem that the book, in large part, presents pure fiction as fact, others have done that in quite a lot of detail.
When I was reading the book, my first reaction was that this was Umberto Eco “super-light”, the book The Faucault Pendulum (English title?) is so much better literature, so why was I captivated by the “Da Vinci Code” book?
Well firstly I’ve always been somewhat of a seeker, so the subject appealed to me instantly, and even though Dan Brown is getting a number of facts wrong, I believe that it is a fact that Christianity was shaped to suit King Constantine.
The book is also a very easy read, a page turner.
What really appealed to me was the strong feminism of the book, the mentioning of the Goddess Isis cults and the worship of the “Sacred Feminine” that has been lost. To me the book isn’t about Christianity, but about the persecution and oppression women has been subjected to in the name of God. I see the book as a harsh criticism of ALL male dominated religions, not just Christianity. To me the story about the alleged relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus is not too important, but it is, of course, an interesting, albeit not exactly new, theory.
What happened was that the book made me “fall in love” with Isis, and I even had the chance to visit one of the main temples of Isis worship, the Philae Temple in Egypt in October of 2004. A trip that had been planned before I had read the book, but I was sort of obsessed by Isis back then, so being in Egypt was great, and I spend some time in one of the rooms of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, just studying the miniatures of Isis and the other deities of Egyptian religion. I could contemplate in relative peace, this is a room that is somewhat off the beaten path (e.g. the artefacts from the grave of King Tut-Ank-Amon – which is fanastic).
So now there’s a Da Vinci Code movie, and I went to see it with the expectation to get a load of “Religious Symbolism”, “Paganism” and worship of the “Sacred Feminine”.
Disappointment…Only in the very beginning are we presented with some religious symbolism, including the striking similarity between the Goddess Isis/Horus, and Mary/Jesus.
The movie is bearable, mostly due to the excellent cast, I think that the actor playing the monk Silas is impressive,and of course it is great for a “fanboy” like me, to hear the Kryptex code for “the missing orb” being spelled out.
Even though the adorable Audrey Tautou – loved her in Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain – is doing an excellent job as Sophie, the “Sacred Feminine” is remarkable absent from the movie, completely unlike the book.
The “Sacred Feminine” was what made the book bearable, but it’s missing from the movie! Isis where are you?
ps. You can get to watch the movie for free. All it will cost you is a couple of clicks (and your immortal soul – needless to say: “I did it!”).