The Passion (of Jesus of Nazareth)
Here is the trailer for Mel Gibson’s upcoming movie on the Crucifixion.
I was initially a skeptic about this film, when Gibson was saying he wanted to release it in Latin and Aramaic without subtitles. That strikes me as wack, and I’m glad Gibson has relented. Also, from the looks of the trailer, Gibson has decided to portray the Crucifixion in terms rather like the climax of BRAVEHEART — which means that whatever else we’re gonna get, it’s not gonna be a watered-down bit of triumphalism. Two of my favorite religious films just about ever — THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC and BREAKING THE WAVES — are both about [female] Christ figures that are quite heavy on the suffering, but even they didn’t get as bloody as THE PASSION looks to be (though Gibson as a director is in the league of neither Dreyer nor Von Trier). Cheap grace is such a pet peeve (a Resurrection and forgiveness without the gory execution is a contradiction in terms), but now that that is off the possibility charts, I’m genuinely psyched about this film’s 2004 release.
I already know what some of the reaction will be — Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and the Simon Wiesenthal Center already have attacked the film, based on a script draft, as anti-Semitic. The New York Times Magazine did a hatchet job on Gibson’s octogenarian father as an anti-Semite. And I can’t wait to see the reaction of the feminists to the portrayal of Satan as a woman. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver got the best line … in the Denver Catholic Register: “When the overtly provocative ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ was released 15 years ago, movie critics piously lectured Catholics to be open-minded and tolerant. Surely that advice should apply equally for everyone.”
But bishop … you’re talking as though “tolerance” is actually a moral principle, rather than a political weapon. How naive can you get?
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