Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Gibson’s Passion

Russell Hittinger and Elizabeth Lev on Mel Gibson’s The Passion. Last paragraph: "Gibson says that he set out to ’transcend language with the message through an image.’ Chances are that even the film industry, skeptical and skittish about the project, will have to recognize his artistic triumph. How its millions of viewers will reckon with the movie is another story. We think that it will induce humility rather than triumphalism. The film is so enthralling that perhaps some viewers will have to remind themselves that it is just a movie and not a substitute for the New Testament, much less for sacramental liturgies or the stations of the cross familiar to so many Christians during Lent. If, having seen and endured the film, Christians are able in a fresh way to wonder at the vault of the Sistine Chapel, if they can humbly return to their churches to participate in the spoken and sacramentally enacted Word, then Gibson’s Passion will have proven to be something even better than what it certainly is—the best movie ever made about Jesus Christ."

Discussions - 1 Comment

The movie reviewer for NPR’s morning show reviewed "The Passion" today and spent about 95% of the review talking about (i.e., attacking) Mel Gibson and anti-Semitism. He devoted a resounding 4 or 5 words to an actual review of the movie itself. Of course, he called it gratuitous violence, though I wonder if he has panned all of the artsy movies for their violence, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, adultery, drug use, etc. William Donahue (name?) of Catholic media relations gave an excellent counter view last night on Scarborough Country if you can get a hold of it. Essentially, he gave a great defense of the movie and defended those in the culture war who actually promote and live by objective ideas of right and wrong.

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