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Snakes in Movies
17 Miracles (2011)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
This is a religious adventure movie about a group of Mormon settlers traveling to the Salt Lake Valley in 1856 who experience many hardships as well as the 17 miracles of the title, which include a wise dwarf, a cave full of jerky, survival despite poor leadership, and two young girls surviving dozens of snakes that they suddenly find surrounding them.

17 Miracles Snakes 17 Miracles Snakes 17 Miracles Snakes
17 Miracles Snakes 17 Miracles Snakes 17 Miracles Snakes
17 Miracles Snakes 17 Miracles Snakes 17 Miracles Snakes
17 Miracles Snakes 17 Miracles Snakes 17 Miracles Snakes

In the snake scene we see two young girls walking on a trail and playing a game where they throw flowers. Then suddenly we see lots of snakes around them. They stand still startled and not sure what to do. One girl tells the other to pray and they do. Then she whispers a plan in her ear. The second girl asks why she is whispering and the first girl tells her that she doesn't want the snakes to hear the plan, which is funny since snakes don't have ears and probably can't understand the English language.

17 Miracles Snakes 17 Miracles Snakes 17 Miracles Snakes

Then we see the girls jumping over the snakes, again and again.
A voiceover says: "It seemed to me, we were jumping for more than a mile. Due to the protecting hand of the Lord, we were not harmed."

We see live rattlesnakes, live gopher snakes, and some fake rattlesnakes in the scene. The rattlesnakes and gopher snakes are species that could be found in the area where the girls are walking, so that's a good thing, but it would be extremely unusual to see so many of them out on the ground at the same time in the same place. It's nice to see a solution to the movie snake problem that simply involves getting out of the way of the snakes. In real life only the rattlesnakes are dangerous, but in the movie we are probably supposed to consider all of the snakes a threat to the girls, otherwise it wouldn't be a miracle that the were able to avoid being harmed by the snakes. That's understandable. When there are live actors on the set with real live snakes you want the snakes to be harmless. The main problem I have with this and most depictions of snakes in movies is that most filmmakers use snakes as if they are some kind of explosive device that will kill you if you get near them, which contributes to unnecessary fear and hatred of snakes. In reality, most snakes are harmless and will go out of their way to avoid people. They don't want to get stepped on any more than we want to step on them.