The Passion of the Christ Essay

1019 Words Mar 25th, 2012 5 Pages
The Passion of the Christ

On February 25th (Ash Wednesday) 2004, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ film was released. The film is based on Jesus’ arrest, trial, and execution according to the four Gospels. Most of the film is historically accurate, although there are some fictional events too. The film became the highest grossing non-English language film of all time and it was named the most controversial film of all time. Critics claimed the film was historically inaccurate due to the way the film portrayed Pontius Pilate, along with the use of excessive violence, anti-Semitic content, and the use of additional material. One of the most important historical inaccuracies is the way the film portrays the Roman governor, Pontius
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Film critic Roger Ebert said in his review, The movie is 126 minutes long, and I would guess that at least 100 of those minutes, maybe more, are concerned specifically and graphically with the details of the torture and death of Jesus; further stating that this was the most violent film he had ever seen (Sanburn). Film critic A.O. Scott stated in his review, “The Passion of the Christ is so relentlessly focused on the savagery of Jesus’ final hours that this film seems to arise less from love than from wrath, and to succeed more in assaulting the spirit than in uplifting it.” Before the film was even released, there were prominent criticisms of perceived anti-Semitic content in the movie. After representatives of the Anti-Defamation League attended a private screening of a pre-release version of The Passion of the Christ, they released a statement calling it one of the most troublesome texts, relative to anti-Semitic potential, that any of us had seen in twenty-five years. It must be emphasized that the main storyline presented Jesus as having been relentlessly pursued by an evil cabal of Jews, headed by the high priest Caiaphas, who finally blackmailed a weak-kneed Pilate into putting Jesus to death. This is precisely the storyline that fueled centuries of anti-Semitism within Christian societies (Robinson). A key

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