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Old 02-25-2004, 06:18 PM   #106
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The violence scares me too. Do I need to subject my nervous system to the Violence Shock Syndrome From Hell (no pun intended) to enhance my understanding of Christ's Passion, given that I'm not a Flagellant?
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Old 02-25-2004, 07:04 PM   #107
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
This is a film that many churches, organizations, and individuals have adopted and marketed on their own time with their own money using it as a tool to "bring in followers." I think it's beyond one man's vision now.
If this film is as fixated on violence and brutality as the descriptions I've read of it indicate, it seems like an odd tool to bring in followers with. I don't think I would want someone unfamiliar with Christianity to get introduced to it through an unrelenting, two-hour bloodbath. As a practicing Catholic the idea that Jesus suffered horribly during the Passion isn't exactly a new idea to me, but the descriptions I've read (10-minute torture scenes, etc.) turn my stomach.

I don't plan to see the movie. I don't see why I need to subject myself to the Gopsel According to Mel Gibson. The Gospels according to Mark, Matthew, Luke and John are good enough for me.
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Old 02-25-2004, 08:18 PM   #108
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Originally posted by Bono's shades


If this film is as fixated on violence and brutality as the descriptions I've read of it indicate, it seems like an odd tool to bring in followers with. I don't think I would want someone unfamiliar with Christianity to get introduced to it through an unrelenting, two-hour bloodbath. As a practicing Catholic the idea that Jesus suffered horribly during the Passion isn't exactly a new idea to me, but the descriptions I've read (10-minute torture scenes, etc.) turn my stomach.

I don't plan to see the movie. I don't see why I need to subject myself to the Gopsel According to Mel Gibson. The Gospels according to Mark, Matthew, Luke and John are good enough for me.
I agree with you. I've read and heard review after review about the amount of violence and brutality in this movie. I don't feel like exposure to this level of this stuff is necessary for my faith journey. I don't think a mere mortal should feel like they *must* expose themselves to this or else "lose" something in some way. I just don't see it that way.
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Old 02-25-2004, 10:23 PM   #109
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During the homily at Ash Wednesday service tonight, while the priest was talking about what might be some good ways to observe Lent, he recommended going to see The Passion - and admitted in the very next sentence that he hasn't seen it himself yet! That doesn't make any sense at all! How can you recommend something you haven't even seen? I'm very disappointed in him.

I noticed a lot of people around me started whispering to each other after he said that. I wonder if they were thinking the same thing I was.
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Old 02-25-2004, 10:36 PM   #110
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I think there's a large percentage of conservative Christians that want so desperately for their religion to have a part in mainstream pop culture that they will blindly throw full support into a film like this. There were several ministers and preachers in my area who did the same thing, one went as far as renting out a theater for the whole day for anyone to come see the movie, one that he hasn't seen yet.
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Old 02-25-2004, 11:50 PM   #111
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
I think there's a large percentage of conservative Christians that want so desperately for their religion to have a part in mainstream pop culture that they will blindly throw full support into a film like this. There were several ministers and preachers in my area who did the same thing, one went as far as renting out a theater for the whole day for anyone to come see the movie, one that he hasn't seen yet.
I agree with this statement. I'm utterly shocked at all the "positive" reviews from religious leaders. Have they even *seen* this movie? It's a bloodbath that takes many Hollywood-style liberties on the truth.

I did enjoy this film, yes, but I have serious problems with people who exult this film as "accurate." I think it is mostly the fact that this is the most "macho" depiction of Jesus ever done on film. Jesus, in most other films, is portrayed as way too "passive" (read: effeminate) and, in this one, it has all the heterosexual male bloodlust that drives their zeal for war films and televised wrestling--hence, why the film glosses over all of Jesus' "passive" moments, particularly the Resurrection.

Considering that Christianity is still an overwhelming patriarchy, I'm disappointed, but not shocked, at the fact that this is probably why they are drawn to this film so zealously. It's a movie! And I think that, while it is not accurate as a whole, it is a viewpoint that has never been shown, in regards to Jesus. Chances are, His crucifixion was really probably this disgusting. But for people to think that this is the *most* important part of Jesus' life? It's no wonder that religion is so predisposed to violence and intolerance.

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Old 02-26-2004, 12:06 AM   #112
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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075520/

Franco Zeffirelli's 1977 miniseries, "Jesus of Nazareth"

If people want to see a film version of the gospels that isn't tainted by controversy or plotless, gory special effects that overemphasize violence, then I believe that this is the one to watch. I watched this one when I was much younger, and I thought it was done well.

It's also 371 minutes long, so you can't complain that it's too short. This is what I suggest as an alternative to Gibson's work here, if you sincerely want to see a good Jesus film.

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Old 02-26-2004, 12:13 AM   #113
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Originally posted by melon
********SPOILERS********

Well, folks, you might not believe it, but I've just come back from seeing the movie. That's right: I found my way inside an advance screening here in Boston, so let me comment on the film:

1) The film is very violent. Very. The film is two hours of graphic violence. It is the "Saving Private Ryan" of religious films, and there's no doubt about that.
Agreed.

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2) I can see why some groups may perceive the film as anti-Semitic, but I respectfully disagree. The blame is certainly laid square on the Pharisees, namely Caiphas and his fellow high priests (I *think* that's what they were called ), and it looked more like a directed mob crowd by Caiphas than anything.
I disagree as well on the anti-Semitic count, and thought they definitely make Caiphas out to be *a* bad guy, although if anyone really paid attention to Christ's words, he says several times that this was his choice.

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3) The film is lacking in any plot and takes some major liberties. Sad to say, the only people who will be able to make sense of this film are those who are already familiar with Christianity. The apostles are loosely and barely mentioned; only Judas, Peter, and John are shown, and, even then, Peter is the only one mentioned by name at all.
Actually, Judas is mentioned by name, for sure, by Jesus (they used a clip in the news where they show it in the subtitle). I wouldn't say this lacks a plot. But for people totally unfamiliar with this story, it will raise many questions (not necessarily a bad thing).

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4) The "Satan" character is probably the most uncalled for. His nearly constant presence in the film--where he has an uncanny resemblence to Ingmar Bergman's "Death" character in "The Seventh Seal"--has the least Biblical basis of it all, but maybe not, if I include the dead camel with maggots, the demon children, and the incredible lengths that the film goes to to make Judas and Pontius Pilate sympathetic characters (and, of course, amplifying the evil of Caiphas and the rest of the Pharisees).
It actually is a woman, or so I assume from the name "Rosalinda". She is very androgenous however, and if I didn't already know it was a woman, I probably would have voted that it was a man.

Also - my 'expert' veterinry opinion was that the rotting animal was a donkey or horse, not a camel

The kids were kinda freaky, and what was up with the midget/baby?

Quote:
5) There were way too many Caucasians in the film. Too many. They even bleached Simon of Cyrene (again, not mentioned by name, but any good Catholic knows exactly who it is) to the point that it was laughable--tradition holds that he was probably black, but he looked more like a black person taking bleaching pills a la Michael Jackson. Jesus, of course, is as white as can be, even though, if the film wants to be accurate, he should probably look more Mediterranean.
I actually thought they costumed and made up Caviezel very well to appear Mediterranean

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6) The film glosses over important aspects of the Passion, in favor of violence. Jesus' Resurrection is reduced to the last minute of the film and the Garden of Gethsemane is where the film begins--but fast-forwarded to the part where He is arrested and betrayed by Judas.
I guess I wasn't super impressed with the effect of the last scene in the tomb - the deflating shroud effect seemed odd and I really didn't want to (practically) see Jesus' butt cheek (call me a prude)

My warning - I do not have a weak stomach, yes I cried in Saving Private Ryan but didn't get to the point of feeling physically sick. For The Passion, I did - and still feel physically off 3 hours later. I would not recommend going on a full stomach
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Old 02-26-2004, 03:49 AM   #114
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Originally posted by melon
The one thing I would have to say was probably the most accurate was the violence. It certainly showed how vicious the Roman Empire was capable of being, but, in some ways, the film's emphasis on the violence is perhaps more of a reflection on our own failings. A film on the love of Christ is distrusted as "inaccurate," while a film on blood and gore is hailed. As I've mentioned before, people only understand fear and violence, and that's probably the reason why, today, Jesus' true message eludes many, just as it eluded people 2000 years ago.
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Originally posted by Blacksword
Just a quick query. Though I'm sure you must have said it before what would you say Jesus' true message was?
I too would like that question answered.

In the oldest surviving creed of Christianity (1 Corinthians 15:3-8), what is emphasized is not any specific teaching, but Christ's death and resurrection. In that same chapter, Paul teaches that our faith hinges on the reality of the death and resurrection.

The Passion story takes us from the Last Supper to Jesus' death on the cross.

Matthew spent 3 out of 28 chapters on the Passion. Mark, 3 out of 16. Luke, 3 out of 24. John, 9 out of 21. In addition, Jesus foretells His own death and resurrection in multiple passages:

Matthew 16:21-28, 17:14-21, 20:17-19
Mark 8:31-9:1, 9:14-29, 10:32-34
Luke 9:22-27, 9:43-45, 18:31-34

Not to mention the sign of Jonah (Matthew 12, Luke 11) and the promise to rebuild the temple in three days (John 2).

That's a pretty big emphasis.

If you're saying that modern Christianity missed the boat by focusing on the death and resurrection, then you also have to condemn the Gospels and Epistles since they're guilty of the same offense.

If Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, and every other early Christian writer says one thing and you say otherwise, why should any Christian believe you?

The truth is, the Passion does not detract from Christ's message of love: it is the ultimate expression of that message. He shows us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek by *actually* loving His enemies and turning the other cheek.

Nor does it detract from His message that He is the way, the truth, the life, the true vine, the good shepard, and the bread of life. (Yes, that is a major part of His message.) It is the death and resurrection that are the means by which He accomplishes all these things.

If it weren't for my horse...
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Old 02-26-2004, 07:23 AM   #115
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High horses, aside, "Mr. Black," I'm guessing that you haven't seen the film. It focuses solely on death and violence, nothing else. Such a thing as "plot" is also removed, so as to put even more focus on the death and violence. I understand that this has become a political issue, whereas liberals must hate the film and conservatives must defend it, no matter what the actual content (or lack thereof) of the film is, but let's just say that I'm tired of this excuse. I don't hate the film at all, but I also think that it misses the mark.

Of course, "Mr. Black," I know precisely what you're trying to imply: that I'm a terrible Christian. And for someone who has supposedly only posted 12 posts, that's quite presumptous of you. If you've bothered at all to read what I've been saying, it is that:

1) LOVE is the point of Jesus' first coming. You can throw around all the passage numbers you want, but if LOVE weren't so central as to why Jesus came in the first place, not only would He have not made it His sole commandment, but St. Paul wouldn't have so boldly proclaimed it "the law," in replacement of all the other (Romans 13:9-10). But LOVE is the one thing that people will continually try to avoid, because, out of all the "commandments," that one is the hardest to live up to, particularly since LOVE is not a very "macho" thing to do. And, thus, that's precisely why male-dominated religion focuses on damn near everything else but LOVE, and that's why it has missed the mark. It is, thus, no better than a group of modern-day Pharisees, and you can spit out all the Bible passages you want: that's precisely what they did too.

2) The RESURRECTION is the birth of the Christian faith, not the death. In spite of Gibson's big blame game (i.e., "the Jews killed Christ," Satan's fault, "it was all our fault"), if Jesus' death and resurrection paved our way to be able to go to Heaven, as tradition holds, then is it at all possible that this is what God wanted? Of course, that would certainly imply predestination, but Christ's life is nothing without His resurrection. THAT is what this film misses as well.

(Of course, I'm familiar with traditionalist Catholic beliefs, and that is probably why there is a fixation on Jesus' suffering overall.)

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Old 02-26-2004, 08:16 AM   #116
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I am going to elabarote a bit more on my original post here goes it seems this film serves no other purpose than to divide people(conservatives vs.liberal,Jewish vs.Christain).I wonder if this was Mels intention if so he has certainly achieved that!!!!!!
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:07 AM   #117
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The Passion and Resurrection are two sides of the same coin, though teh Church has been notorious forfo overemphasising teh Passion, getting stuck on Friday would be another way of putting it. I'll have to see "The Passion" (to distinguish the film from the event - I think some of the dispute between Melon and our new firnd Mr. Balck might be over this fact), but I will say the violence does seem to be the dominating factor from everything I've heard. The sacrifice element is crucial but in the end teh Passion means nothing without the Resurrection and in that you are perfectly right Melon.
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Old 02-26-2004, 11:10 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
The violence scares me too. Do I need to subject my nervous system to the Violence Shock Syndrome From Hell (no pun intended) to enhance my understanding of Christ's Passion, given that I'm not a Flagellant?
I totally agree verte. I will not see this movie for this reason.

Quote:
Originally posted by melon
(Of course, I'm familiar with traditionalist Catholic beliefs, and that is probably why there is a fixation on Jesus' suffering overall.)
Melon I find it interesting you point this out because this is something that I feel a lot of, even if it's subconcious. The suffering, the pain, makes everything He did even more of a sacrifice, and the way it's "harped" on makes me at least feel even more guilty or upset. You see the crucifixes in Catholic churches and (the ones I've seen at least) His head is down, He's suffering... His crucifixation "allowed" for the largest miracle: resurrection. Isn't there victory in that? Why isn't this emphasised?

I understand it's a movie, but like Bono's shades said, I wouldn't want it to be the introduction to Christianity that non-Christians see.

on the love, melon. It's funny how soo many things can seem convoluted in the Bible, taken out of context or misinterpreted.... except for the Love.
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Old 02-26-2004, 11:19 AM   #119
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I don't know that I'm going to see the movie, as from what I've read and heard, it sounds as though most of the violence inflicted on Christ in this film is, in effect, gratuitous. It sounds as though the movie is gory well beyond reason.

Chuck Smith, a well-known and influential evangelical Christian pastor from Orange County, CA, gave a positive review of the movie, but even he had the following to say: "I do think that the violence could have been overplayed. I don't know that Scripture supports the amount of violence that we saw. Also, such things as the taunting of Judas Iscariot by the children ... the Bible doesn't have this."

http://www2.ocregister.com/ocrweb/oc...month=2&day=25
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Old 02-26-2004, 12:37 PM   #120
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There's an article about this movie in the latest "Time" magazine. It claims that the movie is really based on 14th century Catholicism. This is the era that gave us the Flagellants and alot of people like them; it is also the era that Umberto Eco's "Name of the Rose", which my favorite movie, of the same name is based on. That's a gory movie but not excessively so. It's a little unsettling that some religious people are advocating this for children. Some catechism classes are being taken to this movie. One reviewer claimed that the movie is leaving people emotionally drained from all the goriness. If I had kids I don't think I'd want them to see this. The notion that Christ suffered horribly on the Cross is not exactly news to me, as a practicing Catholic. "Traditionalist" Catholicism, which Gibson practices, is very similar to late medieval Catholicism.
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