What Lies Behind Mel Gibsons The Passion Of The Christ
LTRP Note: This weekend many evangelical Christians will attend showings of Mel Gibsons production, The Passion of the Christ. For most, they do not know what Gibsons intention and goal was for this film. They would be surprised to learn that he turned to a Catholic mystic nun for inspiration of the film, and after the release of the film, he made clear his hope was that the film would lead people to the Catholic Eucharistic Christ and to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a co-redemptor and co-mediator.
The Passion and the Christ An AnalysisRoger Oakland and Jim Tetlow
On Ash Wednesday 2004, The Passion of the Christ premiered in North America. Never has a film on Christs passion garnered so much attention. In its first two weeks, the movie grossed over 200 million dollars and is poised to become the highest grossing R-rated movie in history. Its subsequent release around the world has the potential to influence multiplied millions of viewers.
Though The Passion of the Christ was produced and directed by a devout CatholicMel Gibson, Catholics are not alone in the endorsement of this monumental movie. Perhaps the greatest support for the movie comes from evangelical Bible-believing Christians. In an effort to win souls to Christ, these Christians sponsored all types of evangelistic events that revolve around the movie.
The dedication page reveals Emmerichs devotion and passion:
Quotes from Gibsons Definitive Edition of The Passion:
‘the Movie Was Torture
An interview with actor Jim Caviezel, who plays Jesus in Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ.’
Reprinted with permission of the National Catholic Register.Jim Caviezel was already a devout Catholic when he got the role of Christ in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. But after acting out Christ’s harrowing death in the movie, scheduled to be released Ash Wednesday, he says his faith is stronger still. How did you get the part of Christ?
Was there anything in particular Gibson had you do to prepare for the part?
What did you have to go through to make the part work?
How has playing the part of Christ impacted how you pray the rosary? The scourging at the pillar, I understand, was a painful scene for you. Literally. What was the experience of the crucifixion scene like?
The Interview: Mel Gibson And ‘the Passion Of The Christ’
- 05 March 2004
- KEN DUNCAN
The following are excerpts from an interview Ken Duncan conducted with Mel Gibson in the backlots of Cineciita Film Studios, Rome, during filming of The Passion…
Jesus in the crucifixion scene from The Passion of The Christ.. Picture: Philippe Antonello.
Interview excerpts printed with permission of Ken Duncan.
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Box Office And Theatrical Run
The Passion of the Christ opened in the United States on February 25, 2004 . It earned $83,848,082 from 4,793 screens at 3,043 theaters in its opening weekend and a total of $125,185,971 since its Wednesday opening, ranking it fourth overall in domestic opening weekend earnings for 2004 as well as the biggest weekend debut for a February release ” rel=”nofollow”> Fifty Shades of Grey was released). The film tied with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King‘s record for having the highest five-day Wednesday opening. Moreover, The Passion of the Christ scored the second biggest opening weekend for any R-rated movie, behind The Matrix Reloaded. It went on to earn $370,782,930 overall in the United States, and remains the highest grossing R-rated film in the domestic market . The film sold an estimated 59,625,500 tickets in the US in its initial theatrical run.
In the Philippines, a majority-Catholic country, the film was released on March 31, 2004, rated PG-13 by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board and endorsed by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines .
In Malaysia, government censors initially banned it completely, but after Christian leaders protested, the restriction was lifted, but only for Christian audiences, allowing them to view the film in specially designated theaters. In Israel, the film was not banned. However, it never received theatrical distribution because no Israeli distributor would market it.
The Passion Of The Christ
|The Passion of the Christ|
|Theatrical release poster|
|Based on||The Passion in the New Testament of the Bible and The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich|
The Passion of the Christ is a 2004 American epicbiblicaldrama film produced, directed and co-written by Mel Gibson and starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus of Nazareth, Maia Morgenstern as , and Monica Bellucci as . It depicts the Passion of Jesus largely according to the gospels of Matthew, , Luke and John. It also draws on pious accounts such as the Friday of Sorrows, along with other devotional writings, such as the reputed visions attributed to Anne Catherine Emmerich.
The film primarily covers the final 12 hours before Jesus Christ’s death, known as the Passion, hence the title of the film. It begins with the Agony in the Garden in the Garden of Olives , continues with the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, the brutal Scourging at the Pillar, the suffering of Mary as prophesied by Simeon, and the crucifixion and death of Jesus, and ends with a brief depiction of his resurrection. However, the film also depicts flashbacks to particular moments in Jesus’ life, some of which are biblically based, such as The Last Supper and The Sermon on the Mount, and others that are artistic license, as when Mary comforts Jesus and when Jesus crafts a table.
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Cecil B Demille’s Precedent
“An Evangelical minister wrote a column in which he said that I was right. He said Gibson should clarify at the beginning or end of the movie that the Romans crucified 250,000 Jews and that only one rose. It is a somewhat similar concept to what I wanted.
“PAX, a Christian network, advertised that they would run a two-hour documentary on the movie shortly before its previews. We contacted them, and they decided to include a statement at the end of the documentary: ‘Be careful not to convert this film into hatred.’
“Later a journalist discovered that what we had been asking for was not unique. In the late 1920s, Cecil B. DeMille made a silent movie titled King of Kings that sparked a similar debate. DeMille reacted by editing the movie and adding an introduction. So we found out that what we had asked of Gibson had already been done once before, many decades ago.”
Foxman comments: “What we were asking was not outlandish, un-American, or opposed to our national traditions. We had hoped all the time, in vain, that a discussion with Gibson would lead to some amelioration.”
‘the Passion Of The Christ’: A Message Beyond Words
As one of only a select few journalists allowed to attend a National Religious Broadcasters press conference with Jim Caviezel on Tuesday, February 17, I was thrilled to finally get the chance to hear directly from this talented actor who I had just seen give an incredible performance as the Christ the night before in a pre-screening of The Passion of the Christ in front of some 3,500 NRB conference attendees in Charlotte, N.C.
So much of what I saw during the screening was beyond words. I was profoundly affected by the powerful depiction of Christ’s Crucifixion done with such cinematically beautiful excellence, brilliant brush strokes of storytelling finesse, hauntingly emotive facial expressions, and the simple purity of the languages of Christ’s day.
Though done in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin, I never missed hearing the English language. Within the first five minutes, I quickly forgot about the subtitles and became enthralled in hearing the words in the authentic languages of biblical times. I felt like I was there, among the crowd of onlookers in Jesus’ day.
An incredible storyteller, Mel Gibson gets at the emotive essence of Christ’s death, rather than the literal essence of the biblical story. Though not a word-for-word account, which might concern some, Gibson’s artistic license is never blasphemous or out of place. He masterfully etches into our memories scenes from Christ’s life — both those literal, and those imagined — through the use of imagery.
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Review Of Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ
I just spent the last two hours watching an innocent man get brutally tortured and eventually murdered-in painstaking, striking detail. That is the thought that went through my mind as I walked out of the theater after viewing the much anticipated and highly acclaimed movie The Passion of the Christ. It is difficult to find words to describe the graphic nature of the film. Gruesome? Grotesque? Shocking? Sickening? None of these descriptions fully captures the movie’s portrayal of the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Collectively, perhaps they all do. The movie is two hours of relentless, wanton brutality with almost nonstop bloodshed, anguish and torture. Only the most unfeeling individual could watch this film and not have an emotional response. On the faces and in the eyes of those in the theater with me I saw tears, somberness, fright and shock-just to name a few emotions.
If the mission of the movie was to evoke emotion, producer Mel Gibson deserves an A+. However, there are several disturbing elements of the film that deserve comment. Before addressing some of these, allow me to frame the context of my remarks.
In order for the movie to be an effective evangelistic tool, it must be followed by a clear gospel presentation that explains the following:
Mel Gibson Already Has The Third Draft Of The Passion Of The Christ Sequel Ready Says Jim Caviezel Read His Interview To More About The Film
Actor Jim Caviezel recently revealed that Mel Gibson was working on making a Passion of the Christ sequel in his interview with Breitbart News. He also mentioned how the film was going to be ‘the biggest film in world history’. Read ahead to know more details revealed by Jim Caviezel during the interaction.
Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus in the film The Passion of the Christ, has confirmed that fans will soon see the sequel of the film. The actor started off his interview by mentioning that Mel Gibson had sent him a picture of the ‘third draft’ of the sequel movie. The actor revealed the film will be called ‘The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection‘ and added that it would be ‘the biggest film in world history’.
During his interview, the actor also spoke a bit about the backlash he had faced for his portrayal of Jesus in the film. Jim started off by mentioning that he had no choice but to defend his role. HHe justified his stance by stating that he had to fight to survive in the industry.
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Influence Of The Apparitions Of Mary In Medjugorje On The Film
The apparitions of Mary in Medjugorje in Bosnia, Herzegovina, have had a huge impact on this film. The Catholic Church rationalizes acceptance of other sources of extra-biblical revelation by stating that the ordinary, faithful Catholics welcome whatever the magisterium guides them into accepting.She consolidates her power over the rank and file Catholics by denying in practice that revelation is complete and definitive. The last centuryandahalf has seen numerous accounts of appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jesus, Himself, is said to speak to a few of the seers. Some of the apparitions have received official approval by the Roman Catholic Church. Our Lady continues to give messages to six young people from the village of Medjugorje: Ivan, Jakov, Marija, Mirjana, Vicka, and Ivanka. These six young people have had apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary since June 24, 1981 The influence of Mary of Medjugorje has been documented in the case of Jim Caviezel. In an interview with Fr. Mario Knezovic in Medjugorje on December 6, 2003, Caviezel said,
Fr. Mario Knezovic said to him,
When To Go Public
Foxman says the question of when to go public with an issue is often very delicate for the ADL. In this specific case, people have accused us of reacting to Gibsons movie because we needed the publicity. I strongly believe that after the Shoah, Jews no longer have the luxury to remain silent in the face of anti-Semitism, even if some media and other people say that we should. Our first approach should not necessarily be a public one, and it was not in this case. We understood that Mel Gibson was a Hollywood icon and that it would be best to avoid a public confrontation if possible. This was not a fight of our own choosing.
After we sent the letter, we received a call from Gibsons agent, Alan Nierob. He mentioned that he was Jewish and supported Jewish causes. He considered our letter very respectful and said Gibson would like to meet us. We never heard from him to set up such a meeting. The ADL did nothing further publicly because often issues recede by themselves.
Then we received a call from Father John Pawlikowski, a Catholic priest from Chicago active for many years in interfaith dialogue and very instrumental in Catholic-Jewish relations. Father Pawlikowski told us that one of his interfaith contacts had obtained a copy of Gibsons script from someone who worked on the movie and was very disturbed by it.
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Bizarre Things That Happened On The Set Of The Passion Of The Christ
Mel Gibson’s biblical drama film The Passion of the Christ both divided and shocked audiences nationwide after its Ash Wednesday release in 2004. Primarily following the final hours of Jesus’ life, the film was praised for its cinematography and performances, but criticized for its graphic violence and alleged antisemitic undertones. Regardless, it received three Academy Award nominations and remains the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.
On screen, The Passion of the Christ has its fair share of bizarre moments. And as surreal as things can get during the movie itself, there were also quite a few bizarre happenings behind the scenes some of which you might not even believe.
Fruitfulness Of Interaction Between The Father And The Son
Christ Jesus has triumphed in His sacrifice, and He will perfectly give to all those that come to Him freedom from the guilt of, the power of, and the punishment of sin. He will put them into the sure possession of perfect holiness and joy of fellowship with Himself and the Father. And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. The true believers sins and iniquities the Father will remember no more! This shows the riches of divine grace, and the sufficiency of Christs relationship with His Father in the satisfaction of the cross, where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.Nothing can ever separate the perfection of the accord between the Father and the Son.
One cannot question Gibsons sincerity. Yet, the utterly evil deceit of his purposeto portray his classic Catholic understanding of the crucifixion of Christcoupled with a very effective medium of communicationreaches new heights in promoting blasphemy and contempt for the All Holy God and His Word! This is undoubtedly the exact opposite of what Gibson had hoped to achieve. Clearly then, Gibson and Jim Caviezel are two of those most deceived by the Catholic message. On the authority of Scripture alone, may the All Holy God in His mercy pour forth mercy on these two poor men to the saving of their souls through faith in Christ alone.
A Shorter Version Of This Article Appeared As Part Ofbeliefnet’s Special Edition On The Film In March 2004 This Version Was Published On This Site On January 25 2005
“The plot of the Gospel–good, beautiful man confronts evil, ugly establishment, loses everything, but then miraculously wins everything back in the end–is Christianity’s supreme gift to Hollywood.”
As a cinematic matter, the boldest innovation in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” is its use of language and subtitles to create, in a religious film, the illusion of documentary. Dialogue in a number of recent English-language feature films has fostered this kind of illusion by shifting into a second language plus subtitles for a few minutes at a time. “Dances With Wolves,” for example, shifted at several points into the Amerindian language Lakota. But no film that I know of unfolds in its entirety in subtitles beneath a language other than that of its primary audience.*
Aramaic and Latin, the two languages in which the dialogue of “The Passion” is spoken, are not just foreign but dead. Aramaic survives only in a few remote corners of the Middle East and in dialects different from the one heard in this film. Latin is no longer spoken anywhere. The documentary illusion created by subtitles under ancient languages thus simulates a voyage not so much to a distant land as to a distant era. To the extent that any work of art derived from a classic must make it new by making it strange, this is a brilliant stroke. Yet the brilliance has a deeply regrettable secondary effect.