Saturday, August 09, 2003


The long knives continue to be out for Mel Gibson's film portraying the crucifixion of Jesus. That someone of Gibson's gravitas would dare take Jesus and the crucifixion seriously is a major offense to the Hollywood Weltanschauung. Hollywood is supposed to make "The Last Temptation of Christ"; it's not supposed to look at the Bible with a straight face.

Charges of anti-Semitism are included in every article about the movie, and not-so-veiled charges of a cover-up are often included. Note this quote from what is supposed to be a news article:
But what is Gibson’s version of the story? His traditionalist religion rejects the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, which in 1965 rejected the notion that Jews were collectively responsible for killing Jesus. The actor is building a traditionalist church in Malibu, Calif., for about 70 members, and intends to hold Sunday services there in Latin.

No bias from that reporter, of course. Even those who ought to 'get it', don't seem to. Note this quote from Sister Mary C. Boys, a Catholic professor at the Union Theological Seminary:
It only recounts the last 12 hours of Christ’s life, she said, and therefore lacks the context to explain the Jews’ portrayal. “It seems to me that the film looked on Jews as antagonists, Jesus as this perfect victim,” she said.

So more context would tell us that somehow Jesus deserved crucifixion? And here is some crazy guy showing Jesus "as this perfect victim"? This is from a woman who is both a nun and a seminary professor? I believe a cursory reading of the gospels will show that "the perfect victim" is exactly what Jesus is meant to be.

The real, desperate hope is that the movie will flop:
“I don’t know that he will be able to find a studio that will distribute this,” said Kim Masters, a film columnist for Esquire Magazine.

Masters said industry people who have seen the film respect its quality, but said it is disturbingly graphic.

“It’s not a family film, from what I understand,” she said. “It’s a really difficult film.”

Well, the gospel accounts are pretty "difficult", too, Ms. Masters. We're not talking about "Piglet's Big Movie" here.

I don't know how good the movie will be. But with this kind of hostility from all the right sources, it looks to be pretty impressive.

No comments: