The Biblical epic Noah hit theaters this weekend, scoring $44 million at the box office. The film, which faced some criticism and controversy stirred by several religious groups, stars Russell Crowe at the eponymous hero, while Jennifer Connelly, Douglas Booth and Emma Watson make up the members of his family that he brings onto his lifesaving ark.
At its heart, the story of Noah and the Ark is a story of peace, at least according to the film's director, Darren Aronofsky, best known for his dark psychological dramas Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream and Pi. However, Aronofsky has said his fascination in directing Noah came from a poem he wrote when he was 13 years old.
Prompted by his seventh grade teacher Vera Fried to write a poem about peace, a young Aronofsky wrote the following poetic work:
A Poem by Darren Aronofsky
January 13, 1982
Evil was in the world
The laughing crowd
Left the foolish man at his ark
Filled with animals
When the rain began to fall
It was hopeless
The man could not take the evil crowd with him
But he was allowed to bring his good family.
The rain continued through the night
And the cries of screaming men filled the air
The ark was afloat
Until the dove returned with the leaf
Evil still existed.
When the rainbows reached throughout the sky
The humble man and his family knew what it meant
The animals ran and flew freely with their newborn
The fog rose and the sun shone
Peace was in the air
And it soon appeared in all of man’s heart.
He knew evil would not be kept away
For evil and war could not be destroyed
But neither was it possible to destroy peace
Evil is hard to end and peace is hard to begin
But the rainbow and the dove will always live
Within every man’s heart."
The poem was celebrated by many of his teachers, and even went on to win a United Nations poetry contest. The 45-year-old director has since credited that poem as one of the biggest inspirations that spurred him to become a story teller, and eventually a celebrated auteur.
To thank Fried, Aronofsky invited her to walk the red carpet at the New York City premiere of the film on March 26, where she posed with the director and the actors for all the flashing press cameras.
Noah opened in theaters March 28.