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Greta Gerwig Barbie banner.JPG
Greta Gerwig Barbie.JPG

Greta Gerwig's 'Barbie' influenced by her Catholic school roots

by Kelly Valencia

American screenwriter and director Greta Gerwig has unveiled biblical metaphors in her latest blockbuster, 'Barbie'.

As the 39-year-old filmmaker told the Associated Press, the movie delves into a narrative where Barbie starts in a world free from ageing, death, pain, shame, and self-consciousness but then undergoes a transformation, becoming self-aware – a tale with ancient roots.

Gerwig draws a parallel between Barbie's journey and the Garden of Eden story from the Bible. Like the once-perfect paradise that was marred by the introduction of sin, Barbieland is portrayed as an untouched realm, only to be disrupted and it requires her to unravel the mystery behind this disorder.

"I think I always go back to those older story forms because I went to Catholic school, and I resonate with them," she continued.

Interestingly, the movie has stirred varied reactions from Christian viewers. Some critics have expressed strong opposition, deeming it the "devil's work." One of the points of contention centres around Ken's portrayal as seemingly effeminate, raising concerns about masculinity and gender roles, while others have praised the inclusion of biblical themes as a conversation starter.

Asked whether Barbie is suitable for children to watch, Rev Simon Carver, a film critic, told Premier parents should be fearless in taking their kids to the movie.

"I would say go take your kids to see it, you know, and, and if they've got questions about it, talk to them about it afterwards…

"I like the idea that some Christian themes are coming through it. I mean, the movies are full of Christian themes. Sometimes they're buried deeper than other times, but you know, they're there. Just look out for them. Watch things with the eye of the spirit."

The release of Barbie and Oppenheimer led to the most successful weekend at the big screen for Britain since 2019.

The UK Cinema Association says the films generated almost 30 million pounds at the box office.

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