A friend was married for many years to a man, now deceased, who made his living giving investment advice and, thus, working closely with Wall Street insiders.
The other day she was in New York to receive a posthumous honor of her husband, and while there heard many Wall Streeters complain about the image of them portrayed in the movie, "The Wolf of Wall Street."
Although I haven't seen the film, I sympathized and told her that movies and televsion shows often leave a misleading impression about various fields, including journalism. (Remember how exciting "All the President's Men" made investigative journalism seem?)
And yet it's important for various groups -- including faith communities -- to be included in cultural depictions as a way of telling their stories.
At the moment we are, for instance, in the midst of a flood (that's a Noah joke) of Bible-based movies drawn from the stories in Judaism and Christianity.
And that's to be expected from Hollywood in a country in which a majority of the population identifies as Christian, a religion that embraces both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament.
But how do other groups get portrayed if Hollywood (and TV) are myopically focused on just one or two faiths or cultures?
Well, India has figured out that the way to go is to create its own films. Thus it has moved Hollywood aside in favor of what's become known as Bollywood movies. From Pakistan we now have Lollywood movies and from Nigeria Nollywood.
Muslims, it turns out, are moving toward something they're calling Halalywood films -- halal being a term that means something that is permissible in Islam, whether an action or a food.
I have no idea whether Halalywood films will be any good or will interest anyone outside of the Islamic community, but surely every group, including every religion, deserves a chance to tell its own stories in its own ways. (For a trailer to an upcoming comedy called "American Sharia," click here.
It makes me wonder what the next film genre might be. Perhaps movies from the gambling world of Las Vegas and Atlantic City -- Follywood.
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MORE FAITH FUN TO COME?
With Stephen Colbert eventually taking over for David Letterman at CBS, let's hope he brings with him some of his religious humor. This piece (with clips) suggests he just might.