It is ironic that just as if to prove what the author-director team were suggesting, Christian organizations took a vociferous approach to censoring and banning the film. This reactionary and intolerant behavior merely serves to vindicate what the movie seeks to expose. Pullman and Weitz could not have dreamed of a better evidence for the vices of religious authority than in the manner in which Christian associations across the United States tried to undermine the commercial success of the film. Perhaps, too, it is an indication of the changing cultural currents that many people flocked to the movie theatres despite protests and threats of ban. (Wood 2008)
It should be remembered that The Golden Compass was targeted at a family audience. Children and teenagers especially would find its fantasy-adventure storyline very engaging. A theme of religious authority would seem an unnatural ally to such a genre. Yet what the Weitz and his team have achieved is to prompt children to look at all forms of authority (including religion) critically. In the rational-secular world view being celebrated by the creators of the film, truth will always hold a primacy and superiority over power structures. It is a highly empowering and progressive world view to teach children. The creative team of The Golden Compass thus deserves a lot of credit in this respect. Whatever one could say about the technical and narrative deficiencies of the film, its core message to society (especially children) is worthy of appreciation.
- Burke, Richard C. “”Every Church Is the Same: Control, Destroy, Obliterate Every Good Feeling”: Philip Pullman and the Challenge of Religious Intolerance.” Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table(2007).
- Scaliger, Charles. “All That’s Golden Doesn’t Glitter: New Line’s Fantasy Film the Golden Compass Is a Watered-Down Version of the First Book in Author Philip Pullman’s Blatantly Anti-Christian His Dark Materials Trilogy.” The New American24 Dec. 2007: 22+.