<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d5529474\x26blogName\x3dDimmy+Karras\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://dimmykarras.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://dimmykarras.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d2234159095245132931', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Passion

This evening I finally went to see what all the hype was about by attending a screening of "The Passion of the Christ." I have been a relative skeptic of the film, as I've expressed in this space previously, but I decided that it was worth seeing a movie that had gained such notoriety in spite of my misgivings.

I have always defended Gibson's right to make any film he wants; violent anti-Semites should be held responsible for their own actions rather than allowed to blame a movie for making them misbehave, in my estimation. My skepticism focused instead on the extremist religious belief that I felt The Passion reflected, as well as the accounts I had read of gratuitous gore.

After seeing The Passion I can say that, in short, I was wrong. I thought the movie was outstanding. The Passion is magnificently shot--the scenery, the costumes, everything--and there is much more of a story than I expected, far beyond simply the torture and execution of a man. The bloodiness is jarring, to be sure, but entirely necessary to the message of the film as well. And as for the anti-Semitism charges, I found the movie to be extremely effective in making me, as a viewer, feel increased compassion for the persecuted, something that should help to lessen prejudices in society, rather than to inflame them.

As I am no art critic or Biblical scholar, I will leave my remarks at that. I'm not saying I'll be going back to Mass every Sunday from now on, but if a hardened cynic who is as openly contemptuous of organized religion as I am can find this film as powerful as I did, I strongly recommend it to everyone.