Mel Gibson says, "I want to show the humanity of Christ as well as the divine aspect. It's a rendering that for me is very realistic and as close as possible to what I perceive the truth to be."

(2004) Film Review

This page was created on January 16, 2003
This page was last updated on August 2, 2009


Dial up modems will take a few moments

3,170 theaters 4,400 screens = Largest independent opening
Biggest February opening and the sixth biggest opening of all time!

Opening day $26.6M
First weekend $83.3M
1st week Total Gross $125M
March 24, 2004 reaches $300M
8th week Total Gross $361M

Now the highest grossing religious film of all time

CREDITS

Click to enlargeDirected by Mel Gibson
Screenplay by Benedict Fitzgerald and Mel Gibson

James Caviezel .... Jesus Christ
Maia Morgenstern .... Mary
Monica Bellucci .... Mary Magdalene
Francesco Cabras .... Gesmas
Rosalinda Celentano .... Satan
Claudia Gerini .... Pilatus Wife
Ivano Marescotti .... Pilatus
Matt Patresi
Sergio Rubini .... Dismas

Click to enlargeProduced by
Bruce Davey .... producer
Mel Gibson .... producer
Stephen McEveety .... producer
Enzo Sisti .... line producer

Cinematography by Caleb Deschanel
Casting by Shaila Rubin
Production Design by Francesco Frigeri
Set Decoration by Carlo Gervasi
Costume Design by Maurizio Millenotti

Rated R for violence
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

CD
The Passion of the Christ (Score)
John Debney, Mel Gibson
 

1. The Olive Garden/Night Sky Medley 2. The Olive Garden 3. Night Sky 4. Bearing The Cross 5. Jesus Arrested 6. Peter Denies Jesus 7. The Stoning 8. Song Of Complaint 9. Simon Is Dismissed 10. Flagellation/Dark Choir/Disciples Medley 11. Flagellation 12. Dark Choir 13. Disciples 14. Mary Goes To Jesus 15. Peaceful But Primitive/Procession Medley 16. Peaceful But Primitive 17. Procession 18. Crucifixion 19. Raising The Cross
21. Jesus Is Carried Down 22. Resurrection

BOOK

The Passion of Jesus Christ: Fifty Reasons Why He Came to Die.
by John Piper
The most important questions anyone can ask are: Why was Jesus crucified? Why did he suffer so much? What has this to do with me? Finally, who sent him to his death? The answer to the last question is that God did. Jesus was God's Son. His suffering was unsurpassed, but the whole message of the Bible leads to this answer.

Why did Jesus suffer and die? The central issue of Jesus' death is not the cause, but the meaning--God's meaning.

This is what this book is about. John Piper has gathered from the New Testament fifty reasons. Not fifty causes, but fifty purposes--in answer to the most important questions that each of us must face: What did God achieve for sinners like us in sending his Son to die?


The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

by Anne Catherine Emmerich

 

SYNOPSIS

Click to enlargeMel Gibson produced this film in Sassi of Matera, as Pasolini did in 1964 with his Gospel According to St. Matthew. Even Richard Gere did his David here in 1985. It focuses on the 12 hours of Jesus' life leading to his crucifixion. Jesus speaks Latin and Aramaic without the aid of subtitles.

"Obviously, nobody wants to touch something filmed in two dead languages," Mel Gibson explained at a news conference Friday in the Sala Fellini at Cinecitta. "They think I'm crazy, and maybe I am. But maybe I'm a genius.

Click to enlarge"I want to show the film without subtitles," he added. "Hopefully, I'll be able to transcend language barriers with visual storytelling. If I fail, I'll put subtitles on it, though I don't want to."

"The idea came to me 10 years ago and has been rambling around in my empty head, very slowly taking shape ever since," Click to enlargeGibson said. "I think this is a pretty timeless and timely story to tell, involving an area where there's turbulence now just as there was turbulence then because history repeats itself.

"I want to show the humanity of Christ as well as the divine aspect," he continued. "It's a rendering that for me is very realistic and as close as possible to what I perceive the truth to be."


REVIEW
BY DAVID BRUCE

Host of HollywoodJesus.com


Bringing
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
to the Screen
A Film by Mel Gibson and why it is important

The reason why Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ is such an important film is that it underscores the emotion, pain and passion of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Through the centuries Christian depictions of the Crucifixion of Christ became so decorative that they lost the original passion. Beautiful works of art indeed, but they became nearly bloodless with no evidence of real emotion or pain. Artistic depictions of the Passion were reduced to a mere religious symbols. These works of art have deep connection to the faithful, but no connection to rest of the world apart from their obvious decorative beauty. Neither of the depictions below have the crown of thorns, nor evidence of the whipping, nor emphasis on blood, pain or passion. All the characters look bored, even Jesus looks bored. Again, no passion.

    

The depictions of Jesus below are typical in that they do not reflect the horror of the crucifixion. Note, for example, how the wound on Jesus' side minimizes the scripture: "One of the soldiers stabbed him in the side with his spear. Blood and water gushed out. (John 19:34 MsgB)." Additionally, they do not reflect the agony of a painful death on a Roman cross as mentioned in Scripture: "Around mid-afternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" (Matthew 27:46 MsgB). Beyond all of this there is absolutely no evidence in these depictions of the flogging at the hand of the cruel Roman leader Pilate, who had "Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. (John 19:1 NLT)."

    

Mel Gibson's artistic masterpiece restores the lost dimention of the suffering of the Christ in a very graphic manner (as pictured below).


Cecil B DeMille’s “King of Kings” (1926) had a very do-not-touch non-passionate traditional Jesus. DeMille was a Protestant Christian.

For centuries the Protestants have taken pride in presenting an empty cross, emphasizing the resurrected Christ over the passion of Christ.

In fact, several Protestants groups have discounted the observance of Good Friday (the day for remembering the Lord's death) and emphasized Easter Sunday (the day remembering the resurrection of Christ from the grave). Additionally, historically much of the Protestant church has de-emphasized the use of images altogether. Of all the denominations of Christianity the Roman Catholic Church has done the best job of preserving the passion of Christ within its art. It is out of this rich tradition Mel Gibson comes.

Mel Gibson's film becomes a wonderful gift of remembrance. It restores an important dimension of the life of Christ.

The true Passion of Jesus became lost to The Culture.

If much of the art in the church lost the significance and passion of the cross, then so did the world around it.

In the both the film and stage play Jesus Christ Superstar the question is asked, “Jesus Christ, Superstar, who are you, and what have you sacrificed?” And it further states, “I don’t know how to love him.”

 PIER PASOLINI
If artistic expressions of the crucified Christ within the church lost their passion, then why can't God use an “outsider” to reintroduce the pain and suffering of the Christ on the screen. And so it happened. It was Pier Pasolini, a Communist, but a devout Catholic, who was first to bring the real Passion of Christ to the screen in 1964 in his now classic masterpiece "The Gospel Of According to St. Matthew.


Pier Pasolini, used hand held cameras to get a realistic documentary “you are there” feel. He used non-glamorous actors. Mel Gibson was so impressed with this film that he used the same film location for his film.

To view Pier Pasolini's Film on RealVideo go here

CBS CENSORES JESUS’ PASSION.
In 1999 CBS-TV bought the rights to The Jesus Mini Series. However they censored the “passion” of Jesus.
CBS cut out the nail scene.
CBS cut the screams of Jesus.
CBS cut out Jesus loving the children in the final scene.
CBS said they wanted a “more traditional Jesus.”

To view the RealVideo of the scenes CBS-TV censored go here

2003
A NEW MORE REALISTIC JESUS COMES TO THE BIG SCREEN

Visual Bible released The Gospel of John –a 3 hour film that contains all the words from John’s account of Jesus.
See review, trailer and photos here.

MEL GIBSON
God works in strange ways. The Spirit of God moved on Mel’s heart to bring the passion of Christ to the big screen.
Interestingly, Some of Mel's past films have a Christ-like feel to them. Christian screenwriter Randal Wallace, who wrote “BraveHeart” once referred to it as Jesus Christ in Kilts.

Few people are aware that Mel Gibson’s ICON production company brought the well done Claymation “Miracle Maker” Jesus to the TV screen.

ROCK THROWING RELIGIOUS LEADERS ARE TO BLAME FOR THE ATTACK ON MEL GIBSON’S FILM
During the summer of 2003 a group of biblical scholars (so-called) associated with the U.S. Bishops Council obtained a stolen copy of an early draft of the script and came forward to denounce it as scripturally incorrect and potentially injurious of Christian-Jewish relations. Mr. Gibson protested, and the bishops more or less fled the scene, but the damage was done.

JUST AS WHIPPED JESUS WAS PUBLICLY WHIPPED, SO RELIGIOUS LEADERS "WHIPPED" MEL

BILLY GRAHAM
On Dec. 01 2003 Billy Graham came to the defense Gibson film on Christ, saying he was "moved to tears."

"The film is faithful to the Bible's teaching that we are all responsible for Jesus' death, because we all have sinned," the 85-year-old evangelist said. "It is our sins that caused his death, not any particular group."

Billy Graham also stated: "I doubt if there has been a more graphic and moving presentation of Jesus' death and resurrection, which Christians believe are the most important events in human history."

Hollywood has long recognized the importance of Billy Graham and included him in the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Time Magazine named Billy Graham as one of the top 100 Heroes of the Century.

POPE JOHN PAUL II
Dec 5, 2003. John Paul II, who even with the challenges of his current illness has more good sense than many of his cardinals, knew of the controversy surrounding Mr. Gibson's film, and wanted to see it. Producer Steve McEveety, who had flown to Rome uninvited to show the film to as many Vatican officials as he could, gave the DVD to Msgr. Dziwisz on Friday, Dec. 5, 2003. The monsignor and the pope watched it together. Mr. McEveety said of John Paul. "He's pretty well booked. But he really wanted to see it."

Click to enlargeMEL GIBSON'S FILM AS GOD'S INSTRUMENT
As a matter of fact, we should not be surprised to learn that God is at work in pop culture. Consider these words of Celtic spiritual leader George McLeod:

"I simply argue that the Cross should be raised at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles; but on a cross between two thieves; on the towns' garbage heap; at a crossroad, so cosmopolitan they had to write his title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek... at the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died. And that is what He died about. That is where church-men ought to be and what churchmen ought to be about."

The Passion of The Christ reminders us that God brings light to the darkness of the world. It reminds us of how God works within the garbage of our culture, and even within the garbage in our souls. To free us and make us whole.

Jesus said of his crucifixion on that garbage heap, "And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me." -John 12:32. With all the attention that Gibson's film is receiving one can see the truth of Jesus' words.

God is at work in the culture because everyone is precious to God. Everyone has value.

The cross is rough,
and it is deadly,
but it is effective.
--A. W. Tozer

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