Comment: The Passion is more complex than critics, supporters may admit

EVERYTHING you know about The Passion of the Christ is wrong. For over a year, the film’s most vocal critics have said Mel Gibson’s movie about the death of Jesus is anti-Semitic, while its most vocal supporters have said no, it’s only an accurate representation of scripture and history. In truth, the film is neither.

First, the charges of anti-Semitism. It is true that Gibson’s film tends to divide the Jewish race into those who follow Christ and those who try to have him killed; and it is true that The Passion, like many other films in this genre, is too soft on Pontius Pilate (in contrast to the callous, vicious figure portrayed by Luke and Philo), which has the unfortunate effect of making the Jews seem just that much more responsible for Jesus’ death.

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Mel Gibson still tweaking his death-of-Jesus movie

FROM THE extra definite article in the film’s title to the digital re-colouring of actor James Caviezel’s eyes, Mel Gibson is still tweaking The Passion of the Christ, his film about the death of Jesus.

The film, which was originally going to be titled The Passion, was re-named The Passion of Christ a few months ago when it turned out Miramax had already registered ‘The Passion’ for an adaptation of the Jeanette Winterson novel of that name. Gibson has since added an extra “the” to give the film its present title.

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