When I saw the ads for the movie, “The Red Tent” on Lifetime, I wondered if it would be a good, Biblically-sound movie. The movie is based on a book of the same title by Anita Diamant. I have not read the book, so I decided to do some research. As I scoured the Internet for book reviews, I found many singing the praises of author Anita Diamant and her version of the story of Dinah. The number of negative reviews paled in comparison to the positive ones, but as I read through them, I got a not so great feeling about “The Red Tent”.
Here are a few of the negative reviews from readers on Amazon-
-Some of the subject matter ruined it for me —Biblical characters frequently acting like perverts, engaging in whatever self-indulgent sick behavior they have the urge to.
-Rebecca is reduced to a sharp tongued, selfish fortune-telling oracle with nothing but disdain for her husband. This is an unimaginable description of her when one knows the story of her generous, loving and giving nature based on why she was chosen as the wife of Issac.
-Diamant’s book would be fine, I suppose, if you read it without knowing or caring about the Bible story.
-These are not “God’s women” at all. They are portrayed as having a kind of Moon Goddess. And the men–almost all portrayed in a very derogatory light–are variously involved in bestiality, incest, self-pleasuring in public view, and so forth.
Several of the comments stated that, in the book, Mrs. Diamant portrays Dinah, not as a victim of rape, but as a young girl that simply gave into the seductive ways of Shechem.
The Bible says otherwise.
When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, a prince of the region, saw her, he took her and raped her. Genesis 34:2
I also ran across a few interviews of Mrs. Diamant talking about her novel. I believe her own words say all I need to know about “The Red Tent”.
From The Boston Globe-
“I was taken to task for not being faithful to the Bible,” she pointed out. “I can’t complain about them not being faithful to my book.”
From Haaretz, a news organization in Israel-
Even if people were not happy with the liberties she took in the story, “I don’t take the Bible as history,” she says.
From the Jerusalem Post-
“I feel I have permission to do whatever I want with the Bible.” In researching the book, she said, she didn’t do rabbinic research or even look at the Bible.
From Christianity Today-
“It’s a novel,” she replied later in response to questioning. “When it came out, there was lots of comparison to the Bible, and concerns about my corrupting the text. But I have freedom as a novelist . . . My responsibility is to tell a good story.”
The Jewish Advocate-
“I don’t write novels to teach people, I write novels to entertain people,” said Diamant.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I’m sure there are many Christian folks out there that read this book and liked it. All I’m saying is this, do some research before you dive into this book or movie. Not everything that calls itself from the Bible, actually is.
Many blessings to you,