While promoting his ark epic Noah earlier this year, director Darren Aronofsky said the flood myth “belongs to all of us – every religion, every culture, every citizen of planet Earth.” It seems his words found an unintentional audience in the design team over at Dabiq, the Western-aimed recruiting magazine put out by the terrorist group ISIS.
“I was going to say I don’t think anyone is going to use Noah to recruit people to become true believers and go out and kill people,” said the director in a discussion at the New Museum Visionaries Series last night. “Although I just found out that ISIS, in their newsletter, is using imagery from my movie to make a point.”
Film stills showing Aronofsky’s ark in the throes of the deluge appeared in the publication’s second issue, titled “The Flood” (subheadline: “It’s either the Islamic State or the Flood”). The 44-page document covers diverse ground, from a brief editorial on Senator John McCain to a halfhearted attempt to publicize ISIS’s humanitarian efforts (“Caring for Orphans”). But in the cover story, believers are warned about “the Day of Judgment,” and “the punishment of drowning in the flood” should they not submit to ISIS.
“I mean, that’s definitely not the message of the film,” said Aronofsky, suggesting the terrorists had missed the point, which was more “about our responsibilities to the planet and to each other” and less about indiscriminate murder. It’s also “hilarious,” he said, because “we were banned from so many Muslim countries, and if they actually knew the source of the material … ” Joke’s on the terrorist mag art directors.