The Golden Compass

I keep reading that the movie The Golden Compass suppresses the anti-religious message in Phillip Pullman's books, but the movie has plenty of punch, besides being full of stunning imagery and good acting. I thought it was great (and now I need to read the books).

Free-thinking Lord Asrial is trying to discover the truth about dust, a mysterious substance that travels to other universes. The church, or magisterium, tries to use its authority to suppress his research. It turns out they're got a scheme to separate children from their daemons, the animals that accompany them everywhere as their souls. That way, the children won't be affected by the dust, which can make them question authority. Lyra, Lord Asrial's niece, joins the side of the truth seekers, with the help of an alethiometer, a device that measures the truth. There are children to be saved at the North Pole...

A moviegoer could come away thinking Pullman is for witches and demons and multipe universes, talking polar bears and mysterious dust. The movie's real theme, though, is truth.

More today at Talking Philosophy


potentilla said...

i have a comment struggling around in my brain about anthropomorphism and the nature of polar bears, but I am too stupid to arrange it properly......so I'll just say that the mulefas are the best bit, you will like them when you get to them.

Steve said...

My wife and I saw the movie two days ago. I got the impression the Magisterium was just the embodiment of authority in general. I haven't read the books either though, so I could be wrong.