The writer and director of There Be Dragons, Roland Joffé, is not a believer in God; he has called himself a “wobbly agnostic.” His thoughts from a press conference in October of 2010 are not only interesting in themselves but also helpful for understanding the unique perspective he brought to the movie, “There Be Dragons.”
“I think very few movies dare address the question of the divine. In fact, people think I’m mad, and there’s certainly one English newspaper that’s said ‘Joffe’s gone mad,’ thinking he’s going to do a movie about God. And I think that’s highly amusing. Why we should be considered mad because we think that there’s a God, but sane if we think there isn’t, I can’t understand….
“It seems to me that there’s a beauty in the idea that there’s a Creator and in the idea of God that’s lacking in the idea of… well, the kind of existential idea of the world which suggests that there’s nothing but us human beings. So it seems to me, if one can take the choice, why not take the choice that offers the most beauty and the most richness in human experience; which religion in many ways has shown us that it can do….
“But religion offers something else still. I mean, particularly religion. It offers us the idea that there is something other than us, and we are not the only measure of ourselves. And that the measure of us is more glorious and more extraordinary than we can imagine. I think that’s not a bad illusion, if it is an illusion to have. And if it’s the truth, that’s pretty wonderful.”
Joffe's Criterion: Experiencing The Beauty that There's Something Besides Us Humans