Moses Goes Down

Here is Exodus 3-7, too much to quote here. Featuring the Burning Bush, Moses, Hebrew slaves, strange gods (actually goddesses), Aharon, Pharaoh, a staff turning into a snake, and sing-along phonetic hieroglyphs.
The introduction to this scene is “God Calls Moses to Mt. Horeb”.

Music: Go Down Moses
Arranged and performed by Louis Armstrong (with Sy Oliver’s Orchestra, 1958)

Unlike most other Seder-Masochism scenes I’ve posted, this one isn’t primarily parody; the overall message is similar to that of the song. I still argue it’s Fair Use, and transformative. Parody isn’t the only way to transform (nor is transformation the only criterion for Fair Use). “Go Down Moses” itself was transformative without being parody: it made Exodus into a story of American slavery. Creativity is complicated and shouldn’t be dictated by lawyers. LET MY PEOPLE GO!

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Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

4 thoughts on “Moses Goes Down”

  1. I love the Egyptian bouncing-ball karaoke, but is it actually accurate ? Because that would be amazing… Even though I personally can’t tell since I can’t read Ancient Egyptian 🙂

  2. I do read Ancient Egyptian (not like I used to… sniff) and I can tell you it’s not accurate. It’s using the phonetic Egyptian glyphs to write English. I’m disappointed, but I’m a nerd who once translated the ring poem into Egyptian to give my students as a quiz.

  3. I think it’s not about being accurate, it’s about the overall idea and feeling. And that comes hard in! Nina is performing superanimations and this particulair project is kind of ‘shock and awe’!
    Especially with ‘This land of mine’, I cried so much. Of beauty and of sadness, what people are doing (still!!!) to eachother. That Nina is accurately expressing to us. 😀
    All my love to her!!

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