The Passion of the Christ

I just rented this and watched it for the first time last night. Rather than cover ground I’m sure has been covered to death, can somebody tell me where I can find a topic on this movie here? I did a search but couldn’t find any real thread on the movie. I’m sure there is one. I would think there would have to be and yet for some reason I just can’t find it. (Probably it’s obvious but I’m willing to look stupid if somebody could be kind enough to point me towards it). I’m interested in what others here thought of this movie.

Thanks.

try this:

http://forums.firingsquad.com/firingsquad/board/message?board.id=movies&message.id=495

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I like it as an movie. It is raw and more real as other ‘sweet jezus’ movies.

As entertainment it was too gruesome.

I felt emotionally drained after this movie. Even if you are looking at this from a secular standpoint, it’s horrible to watch anyone being tortured.

I cried throughout most of the movie, and was moved at many moments. Rather I believe it or not, it was great movie making. People who complain about the violence in it missed the point, it was supposed to be a ‘true’ and accurate account of the horrible trials Jesus went through. Although the violence became numbing after a while. By the time the cross scene came it was almost a relief from the relentless whipping taking place.

As if there isn’t enough violence in the world that Mel Gibson had to film the suffering of Jesus in a manner that completely outdoes the biblical record. If the film had been a ‘true’ account, Christ wouldn’t have reached the cross. Although I like Mel Gibsons films most of the time, I regard this one as extremist and missing the point.

Shalom
Bob

I agree with you bob, it’s extreme and completely focuses on the death of christ. BUT, this is what catholics and many christians glorify, because of the resurrection. christs life was far more important than his death.

But the violence in the film wasnt to tack on yet another gratuitous slash film to the market, but showing the harsh realities of what Christians glorify. People forgot what wearing the cross meant. It was in rememberance of all he suffered, but now its been reduced to just another charm people add to their collection.

Did Mel Gibson maybe go over board? Perhaps, but I still think its better then the cute and cuddly Jesus films the market has been flooded with.

The film was meant to portray his death, taking a different standpoint from the other Jesus movies. Do we really need yet another account of this?

I never quite understood the flap about the violence in this movie. Was it realistic? How can we compare our modern concept of violence with that of another age? Historically, the violence in this film is fairly consistent with treatment of the condemned at that time. What would you compare it with? Being burned at the stake after days of torture during the Spanish Inquisition? Being drawn and quartered in medieval England?

Our children sit in front of a television and ‘participate’ in more killings in a year than most Judeans would have seen in three lifetimes during the time of Jesus.

While the torture and crucifixion has great meaning to Christians, what would you say about violence to the children of a 15th century “witch” flayed alive and burned at the stake almost any place in Europe? Explain violence to the wife of an Iraqi official gunned down for ‘collaberation’ with “Islam’s enemies”.

Either we abhor violence or we don’t. I have no idea what Mr. Gibson had in mind. It was a personal vision played out on the big screen. That Jesus of Nazareth suffered greatly in his crucifixion is accepted. As for the violence of his death, he had a lot of company before and after, and apparently much more to come.

JT

But the movie wasnt an attempt to demonstrate all of the world’s woes. It was simply a look at what many people all over the world percieve as truth. Is it accurate? I think no one alive trully knows, but this was their story they wanted to tell, and you knew the violence factor going in. Why is it ok to have 100000 movies about a guy killing off sorority girls, campers and high school teens, but so unheard of for a violent movie about jesus to exist? I wonder how many nay sayers own the complete collection Of Nightmare on Elm Street movies.

Violence existed. It still exists, hiding it isnt solving anything. The best we can do is protect our children and ourselves, while not giving them a false sense of the world.

You dont believe this is an accurate portral? Fine, dont watch. But there are many who wish to see it for deeply personal reasons; reasons that go hand in hand with many unanswerable religious debates.

I was curious about what others thought of this movie (hence the post) because frankly I was disappointed. Maybe I was expecting too much since I’d heard so much about it. I just expected it to be more spiritually moving. But I was sitting here at the end unmoved. I’m not exactly sure why but I think it had to do with the overemphasis on the beating and the scourging. On one level it was really just a movie about a man getting the living daylights beaten out of him. Two hours of that. Unfortunately, it was tough for me to identify any other level to the movie. It lacked, at least for me, the spiritual level that I had anticipated being there. Really there wasn‘t anything particularly spiritual about it. It was, in other words, difficult for me to make the connection between this person who was being violently beaten, and the beauty that was Jesus and how Jesus lived and what Jesus said and stood for (whether you believe he was who he said he was or not).

Now, I’m not sure that’s the fault of Mel Gibson or Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus as well as I think anybody could be expected to, or anybody really. I’m not sure you can capture all that was Jesus in a movie, at least not in a two-hour movie, and still have any time left over for the scourging and the crucifixion. The movie tried, with short flashbacks, but a fifteen-second snippet of the Sermon on the Mount just isn’t going to get it done. And so, without the movie really being capable of providing the connection that I think was necessary to make the crucifixion the spiritually moving piece it should have been, you rely, as a viewer, on your own preconceived ideas of who Jesus was and movies never seem to line up with preconceived ideas.

Maybe that’s why movies about historical figures never seem to fare too well unless, as in Braveheart (to pick another Gibson movie) you don’t really have any preconceived ideas. I knew nothing about William Wallace and I think I enjoyed that movie more because of it. It’s probably easier, too, I think with a piece of fiction as opposed to true history, where you can develop the character as the movie progresses in whatever way suits the storyline. Saving Private Ryan, for example, was for me the most moving movie I think I’ve ever seen. I spent the movie learning about these guys and by the end felt like I knew them all, thus making what they all went through that much more dramatic and moving. Spielberg developed the characters to perfection, I think, whereas Gibson was relying, in The Passion of the Christ, on the audience already being introduced to the main character and so did nothing really to develop the relationship between audience and character, already believing it to be there. I think that was a mistake. But, then again, I don’t know how you can adequately do that with the particular subject of this film.

i am not christian and my rejection as a child was because of the use of violent death as a focus… but for a long time i still respected christianity for some aspects that it borrowed from earlier traditions… but one day, a few years ago, i saw a 1 hour special on cable that only focued on jesus’ sufferings… it was an hour of inteviews with doctors such as neurologists, who spoke explicitly, with computer deatil graphics about what jesus suffered as far as pain goes… it was at this point in time that i pay abosolutely no respect to christians or their religion at all… NO MESSAGE only this historically non-existent guy was tortured NOW beLIEve!!! i’m sorry but i refuse to fell guilty like most of the stupid people in this world… all it is is lowest common denominator appeal…

anyway “The Passion” reminds of some KRS-One lyrics

“One of the first things we gotta switch around of course
Is Jesus Christ, and him dying on the cross
You’re looking at the cross, surrounded in it’s mystery
With Jesus on the cross in a, total misery
Now seperate Jesus from the cross so you can see
The truth about the cross, and the cross’s history
The cross was created by the Roman government
It’s only purpose and use, is cap-i-tal punishment
But Jesus Christ, was all about the revolution
While the cross was used as Jesus Christ’s execution
See what if Jesus Christ, was hung upon a tree
Upon every church wall, that’s exactly what you’d see
If Jesus Christ, was shot in the head with no respect
We’d all have little gold guns around our neck
If Jesus Christ was killed in electic chair, now get it
You’d be knealing to the electric chair with Jesus, still in it
You gaze upon the cross, and you see the execution
You yell stop the violence but the cross you’re still using”

But was it a ‘gratuitous slash film’ ?

Shalom
Bob

I guess that depends on the perspective of the person watching. Where I live in South Texas, you would be pressed to find one person who thought the violence was unneccessary. I grew up with portraits of jesus where he was clearly in torment, writing in pain and blood dripping down his forehead. This is merely a reenactment of these paintings and the feelings of the painters who made them.

The thought of Jesus going through excrutionary pain is not new, but the real harsh portrayal of it is.

ShadowandLight,

??? Please explain what you mean by this statement.

I hate to repeat myself, but the violence Jesus suffered wasn’t that uncommon. It might perhaps be useful to de-emphasize the violence in favor of the depiction that this man, or son of god, was tortured and killed as the final sacrifice for man’s sins. I think I’ve got that right. Perhaps a biblical scholar will help put all of this in perspective. If the violence is what people are responding to, then Mr. Gibson either failed to tell the story or the majority of moviegoers missed the point.

JT

Hello, sorry I will try to make myself more clear.

What I meant is that many people found this movie to be moving because of the violence. And while many people may be thrown by this idea, it just is. And trying to explain why would be futiile, because we would go down yet another unanswerable ‘theory of religion’ saga.

Was it maybe a guilt trip trying to strike at the non believers? Possibly, but it was made to be appreciated by a certain audience and as far as I can tell by the people around me, it was appreciated.

The drama and beauty of Jesus’ crucifixion is that at any point, jesus could have called a halt to his crucifixion by submitting to the devil. He didn’t and as a result, bore the suffering for the sake of youo and I that we may live. there is a profouund message here and his suffering underscores it. Moreover, the suffering should represent JUST HOW MUCH man has done wrong and SHOULD be punished for (but won’t if he accepts Christ in his place)…

Being raised in a christian environment, I understand the implications behind the violence suffered by Jesus. Born again christians watched God in human form suffer and die for their sins.

Some of us watched a man suffer and be killed for refusing to give up his humanity.

JT