Christian groups slam new Kidman children’s movie

Christian groups are up in arms here over a new children's film starring Nicole Kidman and based on an award-winning novel by British author Philip Pullman, accusing it of being anti-religious.

"The Golden Compass" which opens here Friday is the film version of "The Northern Lights," the first book in Pullman's "Dark Materials" fantasy trilogy aimed at teenage readers.

The books by confirmed agnostic Pullman trace the fate of a young girl, Lyra, as she becomes drawn into an apocalyptic battle of good against evil, meeting a host of strange characters along the way including a polar bear, voiced in the film by Ian McKellan.

Evil in Pullman's books is represented by the church, called the Magisterium, whose acolytes kidnap orphans across England to subject them to horrible experiments in the frozen northern wastelands.

"The Northern Lights" won Pullman the 1995 Carnegie Medal for children's fiction in Britain, and the final volume in his trilogy, "The Amber Spyglass" was the first ever children's novel to be awarded the prestigious British Whitbread Book of the Year award in 2002.

With its 180-million-dollar big budget movie, New Line studios is hoping to repeat the box-office success of its "Lord of the Rings" series.

(Source: AFP)

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