Re: The Passion of the Christopher

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sat 03 Apr 2004 - 17:45:18 GMT

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    Did the anti-Semitic blood libel have roots in the Passion story? This blood libel persists today and has been coopted by Arab media.

    I reluctantly watched the Passion movie with a friend. Ironically I saw a movie poster for a remake of Romero's Dawn of the Dead before the movie and thought it might be interesting to see how modern cgi technology might be used to make that zombie cannibal film more graphic. I have a very strong tolerance for horror and gore movies, but the Passion disturbed me in ways beyond any movie I've seen before. At one point I remember thinking that I could have vomited without much effort.

    One memetic related point of interest would be to see how many people buy popcorn and other snacks for the Passion film versus other movies. It might be subconsciously be deemed inappropriate to eat popcorn during a movie that is perceived as depicting such a sacred topic. OTOH, I don't think anyone without an iron cast stomach could bear to eat popcorn when the really graphic parts of the Passion movie get into full swing.

    Jewish groups are concerned about this film wrt its alleged anti-Semitic undercurrents. I can understand their concern.

    There was another element which I'm not sure anyone has commented on that sort of offended me. In the scene where the Satan character releases a snake in the garden and Christ stomps on it, this seems to perpetuate the old stereotype of snakes being inherently evil, a negative Judeo-Christian image going back to the Adam and Eve story. Some sociobiologically inclined folks might say that this stems from an inherent primate prepared fear of snakes. I really wish people would stop dissing serpents, nonetheless. PETA might have a legitimate beef with the Passion movie for the scene where Christ stomps the snake.

    Of all the social commentary and criticism this Passion film has received, I think one of the best send ups was South Park's recent episode. In the twisted way only South Park can deliver, Gibson and his Passion movie were ripped to shreds.

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