Trailer for Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ.
I am glad that you did not forget the ‘The’ before Christ.
But wait — I thought this was the trailer….
I thought this was the trailer…
Ha! That deserves to be a remaindered link on its own.
The music and video are synced wonderfully.
Oops… that last comment was meant for “Kill Christ”… haha
The early rumors about this film were saying it was completely in Aramaic sans subtitles; does anyone know if this is still the case for the theatrical release?
JC (!?!), I had heard this too, but according to a quick Googling it will be shown with English subtitles — there are some discrepancies as to how extensive these subtitles are (I think Gibson is pushing for as few as possible while the distributor no doubt wants as many as can be). Now I know Gibson is apparently a born-again Christian of some sort (and an anti-semite to boot, as the rumors go), but to me (though I’m entirely non-religious) the whole thing seems like a kind of disrespectful treatment of a sacred figure. The “Kill Bill” trailer really serves as good satire because the movie has become rather “blockbusterized” — check out the official site complete with a flash intro, desktops, screensavers, e-cards, and a general synopsis and introduction that doesn’t seem fitting for the son of god himself.
But wait — I forgot to mention the best thing: Get your own Christ fan kit, including posters, folding “mini-posters,” buck slips, postcards, and door hangers (free + s&h, by the way). But don’t forget to send a “letter of encouragement” to Mel (testimonies also accepted).
Donald, you know Gibson is apparently a born-again Christian of some sort? Try not to sound so factually convincing next time. Traditional Catholicism does not a “Born-Again” one make.
Same goes for the anti-Semite rumors. Unless you’ve got some evidence to back it up, don’t spread the gossip just to fuel your snarky “blockbusterized” view and criticize the film as a” disrespectful treatment of a sacred figure” when you haven’t even seen it.
You think Gibson has enough artistic integrity to vie for as few subtitles as possible, yet whores out the film to the web world and promotional fan kits that don’t befit the son of god (yes, son-of-god typed in all lowercase - how respectful of you if those are your beliefs…)? Surely it couldn’t be the distributor who wants to promote the film! Yet another small discrepancy in your ennui-laden post.
Oh, I get it, you’re very clever. How’s that working out for you?
For the scoop on Mel Gibson’s *extremely conservative* and *semi-crazy* religious beliefs, read this New Yorker article. He might not be a born-again Christian, but he is extremely (and, IMO, unintelligently) religious. The movie, which is an extremely literal representation of the Gospels, does not admit of any of the sophisticated and intelligent Biblical study that has happenedi n the last several decades, *not* does it make mention of Varican II and the decision of the Roman Catholic Church to hold today’s Jews faultless for the murder of Christ (as though such a position would have been even vaguely respectable anyway).
Gibson defends his movie by saying that he’s just putting on film what’s in the Bible. Literalism is nearly always the first defense an unsophisticated thinker mounts when faced with complicated issues.
I can’t type in the morning, by the way, not ever.
you can’t apply your own wishywash ideology to a two-thousand year old story josh. to say that the jews killed christ would certainly not be very politically correct - but that is what the bible has “said”. that is hard for some to accept in 2004, but the reason mel and others like him aren’t afraid to paint a “literalist” picture (the passion is symbolic and meaningful josh, but it isn’t an allegory) is because their beliefs have allowed them to see both sides of the story. gibson’s film is not an accusation, and neither are its sources. the central theme of the story is forgiveness, and thus the party to blame is of no importance. however, many fail to see that, and they view this film as a malicious report - even though it is the same story that has been told for two thousand years. most followers of christ have no hatred for the jews as they naturally see their part in the human story, and realize that it is humanity that killed the christ, not simply jews - but they also see the need to tell the story like it is, despite recent political trends. this story is not about a man and the jews, its about a man-god and humanity, forgiveness is the theme.
and before some of you go calling people who believe such a set of ideas unintelligent extremists, please consider that they are letting their beliefs and their faith dictate something larger than themselves, and just because they may realize or believe something that is in strong contradiction of the mind of the progressive public, such as the fact that tolerance is in fact - not a virtue, does not mean they are not capable thinkers.
Tom, I did not mean to offend — I used the word “apparently” to undermine the credibility of my own statement as I know little about Gibson’s personal life but what I’ve heard in rumors (as apparently I should have made more clear). I did not mean to criticize the film prematurely, but to criticize the overall package of it (film + marketing), which I view as in spite of (rather than due to) Mel’s religious beliefs. I have no idea why you assumed that I attribute this to Mel rather than the distributor — I only meant to say that the end result seems to me far more suited to a Hollywood hit than a biblical retelling.
Robert, you say that Mel isn’t afraid to “literalist” because his beliefs “have allowed [him] to see both sides of the story” — but similarly were he an anti-Semite and the Gospels were an anti-Semitic work (I’m not saying they are), he would have no fear to be quite literal in his portrayal of them. Indeed, I would argue that if Mel saw “both sides of the story,” he’d be less literal than the Bible and cast the Jews of the story in a forgiving light. I have no idea how they will be portrayed, but if there is a negative/stereotypical portrayal of “the Jews” in the film, I think Jews nationwide have ever right to be outraged. If I were to take a work of rascist literature and adapt it literally to the screen, I’d expect to people to be as upset with me as they are with the source material regardless of my personal prejudices or non-prejudices.
Of course, if you really believe the Bible, you understand that it was “the Father” who killed him.
The ordinary Jewish public flocked to him; it was the religous leaders who had him executed. This was the Father’s plan. It was also (according to Jesus) his plan that the truth would be hidden from the eyes of the “sophisticated and intelligent”.
Robert, your defense of Gibson’s literalism seems to be — literalism. “This is the way the story’s been told for thousands of years” seems to be what you’re offering as an explanation, along with the fact that the Gospels aren’t an allegory. Nobody, least of all me, denies this! What I do deny is your statement that “the central theme of the story is forgiveness, and thus the party to blame is of no importance. however, many fail to see that, and they view this film as a malicious report … . Most followers of christ have no hatred for the jews as they naturally see their part in the human story.” As “a group of Catholic ecumenist scholars” argue in the article I linked, “After all, for centuries sermons and passion plays based on the New Testament have incited Christian animosity and violence toward Jews.”
Let’s look at some of what Gibson has to say: “There is no salvation for those outside the Church … . My wife is a saint … [s]he’s, like, Episcopalian … . [I]f she doesn’t make it … that is a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it.”
Where’s your forgiveness there? I don’t see much of it. Gibson doesn’t see ‘both sides of the story,’ he sees one, his, the view of Traditionalist Catholicism. Gibson’s movie is not per se anti-Semitic; what it is is insensitive and retrograde, so traditional that what you call “recent political trends,” but what I call the development of common sense, have no place in it. Even the Catholic Church has adopted a more ecumenical position than Gibson. He never says that the Jews killed Jesus and are cursed, not outright — but he believes that his wife cannot be saved because she’s Episcopalian. What do you think he believes about the Jews?
The fact is that the “progressive public,” a phrase you use with apparent contempt, is actually reading and thinking about these beliefs — and the progressive public includes a lot of Christians whom Gibson feels are not Christian enough. Elaine Pagels’ new book is just one example of intelligent, sensitive, religiously inclined scholarship that shows that literal readings of the Bible make no sense, even for those who do have strong belief. Perhaps you are thinking that Gibson is one such sensitive Christian and that by indicting him, I am indicting all Christians. This isn’t so: I am indicting *Gibson* for a religious philosophy which I perceive as brutal, simple-minded, and reactionary.
I’m not quite sure what you mean when you write that tolerance is not a virtue; I assume that it must have something to do with the tolerance of other religious beliefs that I am asking of Gibson (some tolerance, of his wife’s Episcopalian faith! And he can’t even grant that — big stretch there Mel!). You seem to be thinking that Mel’s intolerance is the same as his possession of principles and convictions, which is a good thing. Well, not all principled people have to be intolerant, and not all Christians have to be intolerant. Mel gibson is hoodwinking a lot of Christians into believing that being Christian needs to mean being intolerant, and he’s convincing everyone else that intolerance, not forgiveness, is the Christian way. I’ve no doubt you’re right that many people will see “The Passion” and come out of it with ‘both sides of the story,’ but a lot won’t, and it seems to me that its director intends it that way.
Josh, it seems we disagree on a few things at a fundamental level - but I do unerstand your point, and your perspective. I think that if you know someone of any given faith well, you understand at least some of the depth and complexities of his or her faith. We have a few quotes from Mr. Gibson, and although it was his choice to put himself in the spotlight, I think that to say what you have chosen to say about his faith might seem..reactionary. I am not here to defend Mr. Gibson, I don’t really care if you hurt his feelings or if you are right (with what we have been given, I don’t see how you couldn’t be), I just don’t see any service in your assumptions - many of which have been made about one man’s lifelong faith and its effect on a film, which I assume you haven’t seen, but seem to know much about. I am anxious to see if the film does leave us with only one side of the story, and I think the interview you have referenced fuels that interest for me, but I see no point in deciding the quality of the film now, or its director’s intelligence.
Also, I will reiterate the fact that the passion is not an allegory, and is certainly intended to be taken literally. This you know, but I remind you that I never even said the gospels were to be taken as absolute literal truth or absolute allegory at all, the Bible seems to call for several types of interpretation - all of which are dictated by context. It seems to me that it is downright foolish to say that “literal interpretations don’t make any sense”, because even in allegory, the surface meaning exists for a reason - but alas, much of the bible is a literal historical report, and it is indeed quite sensible to read the story like it is.
Finally, as someone who has taken quite a bit of time to study the gospels we speak of, and the God they bring news of, I stand firm in my own belief (that is shared by many a believer that is “intelligent” about their religion) that tolerance is in fact not a virtue. Tolerance may at times, serve towards some benefit, but only indirectly, and with serious aid of true virtue - such as forgiveness. Tolerance alone only allows for the individual and whatever lies within that individual (be it love, violence, war, hatred, lust) to go unchallenged. In a world dominated by the political trends I speak of (the self, privacy, the American Dream) it is easy to see why we have a society that is inching toward destruction, one selfish life at a time, as tolerance becomes not only more popular, but the supreme human virtue. Consider tolerance the equivilant of a sort universal social pacifism, and see what ends you can imagine. Consider what you believe to be virtue, and there is a chance you might find some relevance in my extremist statement.
Again, for what you say about Mel, I agree with your interest and concern. However despite the fact that I have even crafted my words carefully here, I can’t imagine if someone were to base (and in fact judge, as you have) my faith and personal motivations in a personal way based of what I have said here - not because it would be hurtful or mean, but because it makes so little sense, there is so little to go on - and it could be misused in so many ways. Let’s wait, let’s see.
Well, this thread seems about dead, but I will reply anyway: agreed that we shouldn’t pre-judge the film too harshly, or judge Mel Gibson based on his one interview. Hey, I love Lethal Weapon, it’s awesome, Mel’s awesome.
….BUT (you knew it was coming), I think where we’re disagreeing is on this idea of the Bible as a “literal historical report.” I don’t mean to go all Postmodern on this, but if there is any text that is neither “literal,” nor “historical,” nor a “report,” it is the Bible. It was written thousands of years ago by individual people, has been translated, edited, and recompiled countless times, and is more of an anthology than a history: we know for a fact that lots has been excluded, including one of the Gospels (as Elaine Pagels shows). The problem I have with Gibson, and with any approach to the Bible as simply “the truth,” is the obvious one — that nowadays we know better than to believe that a book just ‘is.’ It is a product, and saying that “well, this is just what the Bible says” is denying the reality of what the Bible *is.*
Robert, I am not a religious person, but I have spent a lot of time with the Bible — as a grad student in literature, I have to. Recently I’ve spent a lot of time with Piers Plowman, which constitutes some of the most widely read Christian writing in English. If you go back and look at those manuscripts, which you can do, you see that there is no single, definitive, ‘Piers Plowman,’ there’s just a ton of different versions which have been edited, revised, and tinkered with, for doctrinal, political, and personal reasons, over hundreds of years of transmission. The same is true, only more so, with the Bible, which has been translated from one language to another and edited by unknowable generations of editors.
It just isn’t reasonable to come at the Bible from the perspective that it is ‘just true.’ It isn’t ‘just’ anything, no matter how old it is. So that is big objection numero uno to Gibson and his movie. That’s why I think it’s dumb and ignorant. And plenty of religious people take a sophisticated view of the Bible, there’s no reason why everyone should have to be like Mel Gibson and no reason why Mel needs to be so traditional. It seems to me that it is just as powerfully an evocation of your faith to intelligently engage in what the Bible is, rather than blindly assuming that it’s just true as your particular edition has it.
I understand what you’re saying about tolerance — Philip Fisher’s book, The Vehement Passions, has a lot to say about anger, justice, and intolerance versus pacificsm and fear. He argues that our (essentially Stoic, Christian) society has given up on anger and passionate feeling, even though those feelings are how we arrive at justice. (It’s an *awesome* book). But I think it’s misplaced to see Mel Gibson as standing up for some kind of just and right principle. He is just standing up for ignorance when he insists that his Bible is *the* Bible and that his faith is *the* faith. Cosnider the world we would have if everyone were like Mel Gibson seems to be — we’d be right back in the Middle Ages, executing each other because my edition of the Bible was different than yours.
Josh, believe it or not - we are agreed (for the most part) on the nature of the Bible. I really never tried to defend the bible in a literal context, only the passion - as I believe that is where God entered history, and made myth reality. To me the Bible is just as you have said it, only a little more. It is not just a story, it is not just my (or our) story, but it is The Story - while remaining all three. For me there are plenty of shall we say…sub-stories in the Bible that begin to get at what God and his nature is, but the story of the passion is a weird, incredible (truly), and amazing story about something that I believe actually happened, and the rest is history. I don’t think you thinking its a myth that speaks to the universal truths about humanity is dumb or ridiculous, and I don’t think you should think a more “traditional” stance is either. I just think you wrong, and you think I am, but that’s what its all about.
bonjour ! je m’appelle MALIKA, j’ai vu les photos du film passion du christ de mel gibson, je ne crois pas que c’est un film antisémite. C’est un film qui raconte l’histoire du christ, tout simplement ! une histoire vieille de 2000 ans, et si vous croyez que MR mel gibson est un antisémite, vous vous mettez le doigt dans le nez ! le problème avec ces sujets et particulièrement les sujets de religions, c’est qu’elle déchaîne des violences. Vous savez, moi, je suis musulmane et très tolérante envers les chrétiens et les juifs, j’ai des amis chrétiennes et une amie boudhiste ! aujourd’hui, elle est décédée ! je suis triste ! alors , moi; jeune musulmane principalement une sunnite j’apporte profondément mon soutien à mr mel gibson et à son film ! s’il lie mon message, je lui dirai bon courage ! MALIKA
Whether someone is fond of or against the teachings of Christ, this movie should be seen, if for nothing else than it’s reported claim to give us the story with only the Biblically-supported facts.
“Biblically-supported facts” … . here we go again! There’s nothing like the Bible to create inspired use of the oxymoron … .
This is what I received today from the Theatre in Texarkana, Texas.
Dear Ms. Cauthorn,
Yes, we expect to have “Passion” on the 25th.
There has been a lot of interest with the local churches to buy out entire
showings, so its possible that some showing could have no seats available when
Movies 12 - Texarkana
I haven’t seen the passion, but i have heard a lot about it!! And i think it is going to be one of the best movies of the year. Our world thinks for a movie to be great it has to have nudity and language and everything, but that is a lie!! I hope this movie hits the box office
Here’s a bit of thought (written by a Jewish author) for this group who see the Passion as solely a ‘Christian vs. Jew’ entity. An interesting perspective. Peace.
Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion’ follows the Scripture
By David Klinghoffer
Special to the Los Angeles Times
Mel Gibson’s forthcoming movie about the death of Jesus, “The Passion,” has created an angry standoff between the filmmaker and Jewish critics who charge him with anti-Semitism. It’s a controversy that will continue to affect relations between Christians and Jews unless some way to cool it can be found. One possible cooling agent is an honest look at how ancient Jewish sources portrayed the Crucifixion.
According to people who have seen a rough cut, Gibson’s film depicts the death of Christ as occurring at the hands of the Romans but at the instigation of Jewish leaders, the priests of the Jerusalem Temple. The Anti-Defamation League charges that this recklessly stirs anti-Jewish hatred and demands that the film be edited to eliminate any suggestion of Jewish deicide.
But like the Christian Gospels that form the basis of Gibson’s screenplay, Jewish tradition acknowledges that our leaders in first-century Palestine played a role in Jesus’ execution. If Gibson is an anti-Semite, so is the Talmud and so is the greatest Jewish sage of the past 1,000 years, Maimonides.
We will never know for certain what happened in Roman Palestine around the year 30, but we do know what Jews who lived soon afterward said about Jesus’ execution.
The Talmud was compiled in about the year 500, drawing on rabbinic material that had been transmitted orally for centuries. From the 16th century on, the text was censored and passages about Jesus and his execution were erased to evade Christian wrath. But the full text was preserved in older manuscripts, and today the censored parts can be found in minuscule type, as an appendix at the back of some Talmud editions.
A relevant example comes from the Talmudic division known as Sanhedrin, which deals with procedures of the Jewish high court: “On the eve of Passover they hung Jesus of Nazareth. And the herald went out before him for 40 days saying, ‘Jesus goes forth to be stoned, because he has practiced magic, enticed and led astray Israel. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and declare concerning him.’ And they found nothing in his favor.”
The passage indicates that Jesus’ fate was entirely in the hands of the Jewish court. The last two of the three items on Jesus’ rap sheet, that he “enticed and led astray” fellow Jews, are terms from Jewish biblical law for an individual who influenced others to serve false gods, a crime punishable by being stoned, then hung on a wooden gallows. In the Mishnah, the rabbinic work on which the Talmud is based, compiled about the year 200, Rabbi Eliezer explains that anyone who was stoned to death would then be hung by his hands from two pieces of wood shaped like a capital letter T — in other words, a cross (Sanhedrin 6:4).
These texts convey religious beliefs, not necessarily historical facts. The Talmud elsewhere agrees with the Gospel of John that Jews at the time of the Crucifixion did not have the power to carry out the death penalty. Also, other Talmudic passages place Jesus 100 years before or after his actual lifetime. Some Jewish apologists argue that these must therefore deal with a different Jesus of Nazareth. But this is not how the most authoritative rabbinic interpreters, medieval sages including Nachmanides, Rashi and the Tosaphists, saw the matter.
Maimonides, writing in 12th century Egypt, made clear that the Talmud’s Jesus is the one who founded Christianity. In his great summation of Jewish law and belief, the Mishneh Torah, he wrote of “Jesus of Nazareth, who imagined that he was the Messiah, but was put to death by the court.” In his “Epistle to Yemen,”
Maimonides states that “Jesus of Nazareth … interpreted the Torah and its precepts in such a fashion as to lead to their total annulment. The sages, of blessed memory, having become aware of his plans before his reputation spread among our people, meted out fitting punishment to him.”
It’s unfair of Jewish critics to defame Gibson for saying what the Talmud and Maimonides say, and what many historians say. Oddly, one of the scholars who has denounced Gibson most vigorously — Paula Fredriksen, a professor of religious studies at Boston University - is the author of a meticulously researched book, “Jesus of Nazareth,” that suggests it was the high priests who informed on Jesus to the Roman authorities.
Would it have been better if Gibson never undertook to make this movie in exactly the way he did? Maybe, but trying to intimidate him into fundamentally reworking it was never a realistic or worthy goal. The best option now is to acknowledge that other sources besides the Gospels confirm the involvement of Jewish leaders in Jesus’ death and clear the anger from the air. Considering that Gibson’s portrayal coincides closely with traditional Jewish belief, it seems that leaving him alone is the decent as well as the Jewish thing to do.
Klinghoffer is a columnist for the Jewish Forward and author of the “The Discovery of God: Abraham and the Birth of Monotheism.”
Mel, The Book was good reading,but the movie should be great.I can’t wait,I hear life’s short. xo me
I came across the discussion of Mel Gibson’s movie Passion of Christ. Some argue it’s anti-semitic. Now John Kerry is Jewish. The movie is said to be very intense and anti- Semitic and set to be a huge box office success. I was wondering if Dean and Edwards see the movie as a deus ex machina, that’s going to destroy the Kerry candidacy and that’s what they were waiting for and not so much Kerry’s intern problem
Your comments about ‘nudity, language and everything’ are interesting referring to what makes a movie great and worth the time seeing it. You failed to mention violence which makes Mel’s movie clearly over the top.
The movie was amazing. There are no words to express what I felt while watching it. A lot of the people who criticize the violence portrayed haven’t read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They clearly spell out what happened to Christ from the time in the garden when he was praying, until the time he was on the cross. I can honestly say after seeing the movie that even though it was extremely accurate according to scripture, Mel Gibson didn’t even go the distance with how brutally Jesus was treated. He admits to this too. It would have been too much for a lot of people to handle. Being a Christian, I already knew what was coming, so although watching it on screen moved me in a way I can’t explain, it didn’t shock me as much as I imagine it would shock someone who didn’t realize that a human could be treated that way by other humans, and for so little reason. The only way for a person to see this movie for what it actually was, Christ choosing to suffer for the sins of the world, that is for you and me, only then will the violence and suffering make perfect sense.
The pain he went through, he chose to go through, to take the blame for the sins of the world. While watching the film, all that kept going through my mind, as he was whipped, spit on, beated, and nailed, was “My Jesus did that for me..” It touched my heart in a way that I can’t describe. If you haven’t seen it, go see it, and try to have an open mind.
30 minutes before the movie started, I was overcome with a feeling of dread. The following thoughts entered my mind: “What if the violence is over the top? What if the film really is anti-Semitic? What if the film really is targeted only to Christians? What if the film really does focus only on the brutality of Christ’s death and Mel Gibson is just some big manipulative showman? What if I leave feeling depressed or guilty?” What if, what if, what if…
I wonder who was behind that…
I don’t even know how to put this movie into words. Where do I start? I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle it, but I could not take my eyes off of this film for a second. It’s intense, it’s gorgeous, it’s incredibly uplifting and convicting. As Rosalie and I went home, I was not bummed out at all. I went home and got on my knees.
The violence was not overbearing. Not for me. It may be for you. I don’t know. It might sound strange, but the violence was actually beautiful, in my opinion. The anti-Semitism is so incredibly exaggerated by the media. If anything, you’ll harbor more anger for ancient Rome than anybody. The violence never went beyond what I could handle. Again, the media makes it seem like the movie is so bloody you’ll be wading out of the theater. It is bloody, though. Jesus was not beaten with pillows. He suffered for us. Saving Private Ryan helped me appreciate the price of freedom as an American with its truthful depiction of the horrors of war. The Passion helped me appreciate my gift of eternal life with its honesty of Christ’s ordeal.
Christ felt divine and very human at the same time. The movie began with him full of fear and doubt about what he must do. There were several frightening moments involving Satan. He appeared genderless and had a very creepy, persuasive voice. He appeared in other people. I won’t give too much away. Let’s just say that Judas was one haunted dude.
Another exaggeration from the media is that only Christians could like this movie. I disagree. I’ve read a lot of reviews from the non-believing public who thought it was one of the best films they’ve ever seen. The detractors just didn’t get it, in my opinion. The film can be a witnessing tool for sure, but I think it works better as a first step for non-believers. Something to spark their curiosity. The movie is so powerful that I’m convinced we’ll be hearing stories one day from new Christians where they’ll say, “It all started with The Passion.”
Don’t wait to see this movie. Go as soon as you can. Pay full price and see it with a large group of people. You will be amazed at how silent everyone is by the end.
Amazing Side Note: I sat next to a guy who was making fun of Jesus with a friend at the beginning of the film…yet he stayed and sat quietly through the entire credits.
This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.