Mel Gibson's The Passion

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re: re: re: re: cha ching#101
Posted: 2/29/04 at 4:17pm
dammit, erik, now where are o'reilly and i supposed to go?
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The Passion#102
Posted: 3/2/04 at 12:33pm
How can you just say it is a bloody, gory mess and have no other reaction? It opens with the scene from the Garden of Gethsemane, to the very human and tender portrayal of the earthly
ministry of Jesus, through the betrayal, the arrest, the scourging, the way of the cross, the encounter with the thieves, the surrender on the Cross, until the final scene in the empty tomb, this was not simply a movie; it was an encounter, unlike anything I have ever experienced.

I thought it was a masterpiece of film-making. "The Passion" evoked more deep reflection, sorrow and emotional reaction within me than anything in a long time. I used to cry over the old movies showing the life of Christ but now they seem so shallow and wishy washy.

Whem the film was over there was dead silence from the audience.

All the horrors and pain He went through, He bore for us with love.

How can anyone see that movie and not be touched? Obviously some people are just desensitized.
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Updated On: 3/4/04 at 12:33 PM
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re: The Passion#103
Posted: 3/2/04 at 12:52pm
I guess what it comes down to is that what touches some of us feels manipulative to others of us. I'm in the "bloody mess" catagory. This movie didn't touch me at all and I had hoped it would. I walked out feeling angry and manipulated. I resented the many liberties taken with history, culture, and the basic facts...not to mention the medical implausibility of any human (and this *was* the story of Jesus, the human son of god) surviving the blows inflicted without developing internal hemorrhaging or cerebral edema. Even a little restraint would have rendered the impact much more effective.

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Updated On: 3/4/04 at 12:52 PM
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re: re: The Passion#104
Posted: 3/2/04 at 12:54pm
Well if they were sesentized before...they will be after watcing this movie. Too me the relentless violence and gore kept me from feeling any emotion. I felt I was being beaten over the head with it. And I just thought overall..the movie was poorly made. No substance and like I said before...way too much slow mo.
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re: re: re: The Passion#105
Posted: 3/2/04 at 1:13pm
The movie was based on facts. The gospels and the writings of two mystics. How can you feel manipulated? I guess to each his own. This is why I tried to stay out of this post.
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re: re: re: re: The Passion#106
Posted: 3/2/04 at 1:19pm
The movie was based on a composite of stories that wasn't written until centuries after the events took place based on the opinions of the editor and have been altered through several opposing versions based on the opinions of those editors. Facts are indisputable and can be scientifically proven. The New Testament is based on faith, not fact.
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re: re: re: re: re: the passion#107
Posted: 3/2/04 at 1:27pm
exactly right, mr. matt. while i believe these stories, it's an function of my faith. a fact is verifiable. this doesn't and shouldn't diminish the meaning of the words for those who believe, but be careful which words you use. because they are not and cannot be facts. they may be true to you, but until there's a way to verify that jesus is the son of god and that the last 12 hours went just like mel says, which short of a time machine i am not seeing, then ya just have to be content with your faith. i am. and i bet matt's content with his faith as well.
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re: re: re: re: re: re: the passion#108
Posted: 3/2/04 at 1:52pm
You're write...the movie was based on teh gospels. And like I said before the whipping are given about a few lines in the gospels (from what I remember) but Mel decides to devote over twenty minutes to them. Just a touch of overkill.
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re: re: re: re: re: re: re: the passion#109
Posted: 3/2/04 at 2:21pm
well, it's mentioned 6 times by my count. the fact that they don't go into detail is to me more a function of the fact that everyone then knew what it was to be scourged and thus no explanation was necessary. the mere word was enough to convey the connotations, back then. but the idea of the scourging in a very dominant one in traditional catholic faith. a decade of the rosary is dedicated to it. putting it as far as that goes on a par with his birth, resurrection, crucifixtion and a few other select moments. but until i see it, i outta keep my mouth shut, i know.
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Erik I also said he based the movie on two books on the visions of two mystics. These events were not detailed in length in the gospels. Mel Gibson researched this movie. He had with him a book on the visions of a nun, Anne Catherine Emmerich, a seer and stigmatic who had frequent visions of both Mary and Jesus. Despite efforts to distance the movie from Emmerich (who is controversial among Jews), the German stigmatic's book of revelations called The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ was a demonstrably heavy influence on the film -- indeed, serves as the very base for much of it. Emmerich was granted many of her visions by the Blessed Mother appearing to her.

The presence of Satan throughout the Passion, the way the demonic takes various forms, the agony of Judas, the extent of scourging, the involvement of Mary, and the very way Christ was nailed to the cross are right out of revelations in The Dolorous Passion.

Consider the manner in which Emmerich describes the sky as "dark, gloomy, and threatening -- the moon was red" (highly similar to the movie's opening scenes) and how Judas Iscariot "wandered up and down the steep and wild precipices at the south of Jerusalem, despair marked on his every feature, and the devil pursuing him to and fro, filling his imagination with still darker visions, and not allowing him a moment's respite... followed by many devils."

This is precisely how Judas is portrayed in the movie (pursued by demons in various guises) even though the Gospels offer precious little such detail on this and other aspects of Christ's Crucifixion.

During her visions in the 1800s Emmerich had "seen" Christ brutalized on a bridge -- which also finds its way into the film -- and tossed into a subterranean prison.

Then there is the Virgin. Her presence at Pilate's court is also straight from Emmerich. In fact, much of Emmerich's account sees the Crucifixion through Mary's eyes -- and, like the movie, had her accompanied by Mary Magdalen.

As for the scourging, Emmerich -- whose relic Gibson carries on him -- describes first a beating with sticks, and then the vicious, seemingly endless lashings, with various tormentors taking their turns as Mary watched in silent torment. "These cruel men had many times scourged poor criminals to death at this pillar," claimed Venerable Emmerich. "They resembled wild beasts or demons, and dragged Him by the cords with which He was pinioned.

"Two ruffians continued to strike Our Lord with unremitting violence for a quarter of an hour, and were succeeded by two others. His body was entirely covered with black, blue, and red marks; the Blood was trickling down on the ground, and yet the furious cries which issued from among the assembled Jews showed that their cruelty was far from being satiated. Two fresh executioners commenced scourging Jesus with the greatest possible fury; they made use of a different kind of rod -- a species of thorny stick, covered with knots and splinters. The blows from these sticks tore His flesh to pieces; His Blood spouted out so as to stain their arms, and He groaned, prayed, and shuddered."

Emmerich claimed that was followed by scourging with small chains or straps covered with iron hooks, "which penetrated to the bone and tore off large pieces of flesh at every blow. What word, alas! could describe this terrible -- this heartrending scene!"

The same is said of the movie...

Meanwhile, the Body of Christ, she maintained -- as does the movie -- was "perfectly torn to shreds." It was but one big wound. There is the scene of Christ in His own Blood at the foot of the pillar -- and a description of the scourging as lasting for three-quarters of an hour.

As for Emmerich's description of the actual nailing to the Cross, this too bears numerous striking similarities to Gibson's triumphant movie. When a large nail was pressed into His hand and a great iron hammer drove it through the flesh, Emmerich had said, "Our Lord uttered one deep but suppressed groan, and His Blood gushed forth" as the Virgin watched.

As in the movie, the nails were described as coming through the back of the cross.

Meanwhile, when they tied Him to the cross with ropes, she said, they pulled His left hand "violently until it reached the place prepared for it," dislocating His bones.

As His mother watched in that silent, prayerful, dignified horror, a long nail was pounded through both of her Son's feet, wrote Emmerich, and then the cross was erected -- falling into a hole prepared for it "with a frightful shock."

The description of trickling blood and a body entirely covered with wounds is as hard to read in Emmerich's books as it is to watch in Gibson's movie...

"I cast my eyes upon Jesus -- my Redeemer -- the Redeemer of the world," wrote Emmerich. "I beheld Him motionless and almost lifeless. I felt as if I myself must expire; my heart was overwhelmed between grief, love, and horror."

I also read the book. This is all I will say on the matter.

[


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Updated On: 3/4/04 at 03:29 PM
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"I also said he based the movie on two books on the visions of two mystics" [in addition to the gospels]

Well, there's a solid argument for the movie being fact based....
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One import part of The Passion is how Pontius Pilate is portrayed

Almost all the portrayals of Pilate in religious movies have pilate as a rational sometimes befuddled leader so what has been described re Pilates portrayal in The Passion is not much of a change . There are 5 recent portrayals of Pilate I can recall. They are as follows:

1. Richard Boone - The Robe
2. Frank Thring - Ben Hur
3. Hurd Hatfield - King of Kings
4. Arthur Kennedy - Barabbas
5. Telly Sevalas - The Greatest Story Ever Told

Boone played as a befuddled leader not knowing what was going on. Thring played him as an autocrat while Hatfield played him as a run of the mill political hack appointee. Kennedy played him like an fair minded official while Sevalas was more dark . None of them portrayed Pilate as evil.

Similarly, almost all of the films kind of sideswiped the issue & basically made the Crucifixion as a done deal without fixing any blame. King of Kings made the totally ludicrous arguement that Barabbas & Judas were in partnership to overthrow the Romans . It also has a bogus scene where Jesus before Pilate is done almost as an afterthought & where Jesus had someone acting as his attorney with him - which never happened. The Greatest Story had more of the dealings between the Romans & the Sanhedrin & it played more like a political movie with the both sides being involved. In none of them could you say the Jews were the heavies. Maybe because this movie deals with just his passion it can bring more of a spotlight on who was or was not responsible.

There obviously were some of the Jews who did not go with his peace message & either wanted to force his hand or just wanted to be rid of him. Pilate sentenced him to death so he played a major role. Some Jews obviously wanted him gone but I think most of the mass of the Jewish populace was either ambivilent or were against it. It was a vocal minority that let Pilate make a decision that served both the interests of the Sanhedrin who felt Christ was overstepping his authority & was getting too big for his sandals & the Romans who wanted to be rid of a troublemaker who they thought could be a bigger problem in the future . Both factions were satisfied.
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I told you this movie was dangerous!!!!
Splash!
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perhaps she rented the passion of the christ and ended up with thelma & louise instead. i don't remember jesus driving a chevy lumina, but perhaps i was in the restroom...
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Please excuse my ignorance on this subject, but why was Jesus tortured before he was crucified? Why would the Roman soldiers be so sadistic? It wasn't like he was a killer or some kind of monsterous person. Wouldn't he go into shock after being beaten to a pulp?
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It was the custom plus it had to happen to fulfill prophecy
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BroiaddwayLady, I have never read anything of yours that was so passionate as are the two postings you have on this thread. Bravo!
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Thank you DP. That is my love of God. re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: the passion
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The movie is completely respectable. The violence is not sadistic but completely appropriate and NECESSARY to the story being told. Christ's message and teachings stressed that man finds fullfillment, not through the Messiah, or in some promised kingdom of heaven, but through the realization of the potentialities of his spirit here on earth. What are the Gospel stories of the mustard seed and the miracles of the loaves and fishes or the transformation of water into wine or the Magdalen's conversion from the carnal to the devotional but wonderful,literary metaphors for the potential for change and growth that exist in us all? This philosophy was a revolutionary (and evolutionary) shift in human consciousness, awareness and perception. No wonder it was met with such antipathy by the Jewish and Roman establishments. How better to DRAMATIZE such a man as Christ, his inner resolve and spiritual strength, than by showing him enduring and transcending private doubt and brutal physical pain over and over again in order to fulfill his destiny? Those who say that a man subjected to that intensity of physical abuse would have died long before he was crucified miss the point completely. In their literalism, they are comparable to fundamentalists and are as provincial.
As far as the historical and religious backgrounds to the story are concerned, they are easily inferred through the use of expositional episodes embedded in the film's structure. Personally, I could have used more of Christ's philosophy to leaven the brutality but the point is made.
If I objected to anything, it was the ham-fistedness of the Fellini-esque representaion of Satan and the renting of the temple, which is presented far too literally and undercuts the metaphorical power of the film.
Not a classic by any means but worthwhile, for certain.

Mr. Roxy, re: contemporary Pilates---there's also JESUS CHRIST, SUPERSTAR (I don't recall who plays Pilate in the film) and Jean Marais in PONTIUS PILATE.
Updated On: 3/4/04 at 03:27 AM
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I have always been told that Pilate had Jesus whipped hoping that that would be enough to satisfy the crowds so he wouldn't have to send Jesus to be crucified. At least, that is what the priest at my church said. I have tried to stay away from this thread, but I would like to remind everyone here that you can't judge all Catholics and Christians by preconcieved notions. I have never been taught that the Jews were at fault for Jesus's death. I have said I am perfectly willing to talk about my beliefs, but I also don't like to be labeled and attacked. Most of the times I have been attacked for my beliefs its because someone had a misconception about them. I would prefer to be asked what my beliefs are along with the beliefs of the Catholic church. I would very much like to talk to anyone via pm and dispell some of the myths, or in some cases verify what you already thought. I even run across things that surprise me, but have made things make much more sense to me. Somebody also claimed that the church is not clearing things up because they are just out to make money? Where is the proof that they only care about making money? One of the things they wanted to emphasize with Vatican II was that the Church is not a building or money, they wanted to make it clear that the church was the people. (Note:I haven't seen the movie.)
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"The violence is not sadistic but completely appropriate and NECESSARY to the story being told."

Call me crazy, but was the crow pecking out the thief's eyes really necessary to the story? I don't remember that being in the Bible. And it's exactly all the little extra sadistic touches like that that pushed this film over the top for me.
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Updated On: 3/4/04 at 07:20 AM
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Years ago As a child walking home from school on a Mon I was accosted by some other children in the school & informed that I had Killed Jesus and the 6 or 7 that there were started hitting & kicking me knocking me to the ground. They only stopped & ran away when a group of the "big girls" ( 12-13 yr olds) came & chased then off helped me up & walked me homeThey asked me what had happened I kept saying I dont KNOW over & over again. I was 7. My mum kept me out of school for the day. & then I went back. But now I knew I was "different". I expect episodes of this to become more frequent again so much for how enlightened we have become. Ani Mamin.
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Sabrelady I was so saddened to hear about your experience. I remember hearing myself called names also. My sister tells me she was called Christ killer in a cutesy way by her boyfriend's family (mazzo Crist I don't know the correct spelling).
When I first started hearing about Mel Gibson's upcoming movie about the crucifixtion of Christ, I think I was programmed, as a Jew, to be worried and wary of it's repercussions. Every time I saw Mel Gibson interviewed, he said with a wild look, "this is powerful," "they, should be afraid." I assumed he meant me, a Jewish person. I dreaded what was going to happen when it was released world wide. Well, now I hear people who have seen the movie talking and I am happy to hear they feel every spiritual after leaving the movie and not filled with revenge and loathing.
If this is the effect the movie has brought to Christians I feel relieved and happy for all. Please understand I am trying to express my feelings honestly and I hope I have not offended anyone because I did not intend to.
Updated On: 3/4/04 at 12:37 PM
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Sabrelady, at our church we had the Jewish student union come in to talk about their beliefs. We do this with many of the religious based faith groups here in Muncie. They were talking about how they didn't get very many people who were Jewish to come to their Friday evening meals (I forget the name now.) We we thought it would be a nice gesture if asked if we could come along to the dinner the next weekend if they would have us. They seemed extremely surprised, but at the same time excited that we were so open and willing to respect and learn more about their beliefs. The people you had to deal with were not what I would call Christian by their actions. I don't understand this whole the Jews killed Jesus thing. Jesus was Jewish. Jesus's followers were Jewish. It is a stupid and ignorant person who believes it is the Jews fault that Jesus was killed. It is my personal belief that he was in control of what happened and allowed it to happen because it had to. It is not any one person or group's fault. Now granted, the chief priests were believed to be corrupt and helped lead to his death, but nowhere do I see it say in the Bible "Hate the Jews because there were corrupt priests." Thats like hating all Catholics because of the actions of a few priests.(Sex scandal)I hope you find more people in you life with the attitude I hold about this than the one's you've had to deal with in the past. It was his gift to us to die on the cross, it's no groups fault he died for everyone's sins. These so called "Christians" you had to deal with didn't follow one of the most important commandments. 'Judge not' that is something I get really irritated at people for doing. Especially the "You're going to burn in hell!" people (Granted I believe it is a minority) who don't care if they verbally abuse you. God gave us free choice for a reason. It is your choice what path you take in life. No one should be able to take that away from you. To do that would be to take away one of the greatest gifts God gave us before the whole life, death, and resurection thing. They don't realize you achieve more through showing love to others. We have a saying at my church. Preach the Gospel, every once in a great while use words. (That means love everyone and respect their beliefs.)
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Good point Iflit...what MM calls NECESSARY I call boring, over the top overkill.