Cue the theme from Jaws

Suffice it to say that, yes, your friends here at GetReligion have recived dozens of tips about Mel Gibson and his proposed television miniseries about the memoir of Flory A. Van Beek, a Dutch Jew whose Christian neighbors hid her from the Nazis during the Holocaust. Yes, this story may turn out to have some legs. Meanwhile, this was certainly a gracious quote in the New York Times piece that started the buzz:

Reached at her home in Newport Beach, Ms. Van Beek, who said she was in her early 80′s, said she had not seen Mr. Gibson’s last movie because it seemed “too traumatic.”

“I don’t know him, all I know is he’s a staunch Catholic, and the people who saved our lives are Catholic,” she said. “I respect everybody’s beliefs.”

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Stephen A.

    I was going to say “That must have been one disappointed NYT reporter when he hung up the phone.” Then I read the second part of the woman’s quote:

    “I know his father doesn’t believe in the Holocaust – but maybe when there’s money involved, maybe they don’t care,” she added. “His father will probably say this is not real, this is a novel.”

    Somehow I knew the story couldn’t let Gibson have any credit here. To be fair to the reporter though, it really is ironic that he’s doing a Holocaust series when his father is apparently a denier, and it does raise the question about whether he’s doing it simply because of Jewish groups’ criticism of the Passion movie.

    Maybe this is his “penance” project. I hope he passes the ‘test’.


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