THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, Mel Gibson (2004)

I’m positive Mel Gibson wanted to do something meaningful for the religion he’s declared to have so much faith in. Thus, he delivered The Passion of the Christ, focused on the agony Christ suffered as his ultimate sacrifice for saving the human kind. We’ve seen many adaptations on his life and miracles, why was this one accompanied by so much controversy? Was it because of the explicit scenes or because everybody knows Gibson’s social and political attitudes and was to be punished? 

Guess it’s not necessary to focus on the plot, Gibson portraits the latest hours of Jesus (Jim Caviezel), after the last supper, when he’s betrayed by Juda, to his last breath and resurrection, only interrupted by few flashbacks. Devil has its place, as the temptation surrounding Jesus, waiting for him to fail to God’s will. 

It’s obvious for me that Gibson’s main aim by this film was to recover people’s faith in God and His son, showing a cruel view of Jesus’ huge sacrifice, him as the ultimate martyr. This film is pure Catholic propaganda, however, because of the explicit content, everybody rejected it, labeling it as a gore film. 

The truth it that The Passion of the Christ is tough, but it’s an adaptation of a story accepted worldwide, then why such criticism? I can understand old people can’t stand the view of Jesus beaten almost to death, they are easily affected and have lived these values in a more delicate and innocent way, not really aware about such suffering. But nowadays, feeling scandalized by torture on a movie when you switch on TV and always find terrorist acts, people torture for real, murder, violence enough to get depressed? What’s the difference? The answer is that people suffering for real are anonymous and Jesus is a symbol. 

I don’t question if Jesus really existed, but I understand he’s a figure for many, but it’s shocking how idealized his Death has become. For God’s sake, he was nailed to a cross and hang out to die, that’s not the ideal of death I have in my mind. Did Gibson recreate on torture? Sure, I could feel in my stomach a knot with every lash Jesus received. What was his purpose? Just to show everybody he received capital punishment totally unfair, being Jesus an innocent guy whose only guilt was to spread the message that people were not alone, that God was there, aware of their suffering, and that we had to love each other and stop treating our neighbor like an animal. 

Anyway, portraying Christ is a difficult task, vision of him is very narrow and whenever violence or sex are being linked to him, critics and general public jump over the film fiercely…remember The Last Temptation of Christ before? It happened exactly the same. People are so narrow minded, we can only conceive Jesus as the Good Shepherd, pure, cast and humble. Sorry, but this is the typical attitude and vision I was learnt to live at school that as soon as I started growing up didn’t embrace any longer. Reality is tough, raw and cruel, so is the story of Jesus.

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