This week, Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” which depicts the final hours of Jesus’ life and the circumstances surrounding his crucifixion, all in gruesome detail, was released to public audiences across the country. Thousands of people have since watched “The Passion” and many found it a deeply moving, spiritual experience. Many others, however, have taken issue with Gibson’s personally-funded project, alleging glaring historical inaccuracies and anti-Semitic overtones. There are certainly serious considerations prospective viewers of “The Passion” should keep in mind about the film. Yet critics of the movie should feel reassured that the warm reception it has received is more about many Christians’ desire to directly experience the story that is the core of their beliefs than it is to assign blame for Jesus’ death.Certainly, many aspects of the film and details about Gibson’s own beliefs have generated a firestorm of controversy. A committee of religious scholars assembled by the Anti-Defamation League and by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops found important depictions in the movie to be practically fictitious – especially the portrayal of Pontius Pilate, the Roman leader who orders Jesus’ crucifixion, who is usually cast as the villain in passion plays, as being manipulated into the decision by a blood-thirsty Jewish leader. Many have raised questions concerning Gibson’s own faith as well, particularly his membership in a Catholic sect that rejects many of the important reforms the Vatican has made, including the absolution of the charge of deicide against the Jews. All of these concerns are legitimate and bear consideration. It is important for this movie to be presented in a fair, accurate manner. This is doubly true considering how emotionally powerful the movie has been received as by many viewers. Gibson, however, has insisted that the movie is meant “to inspire, not to offend.” He should not be thought to be ill-intentioned.And while the movie may offend some who are struck more by the passion of the anger these plays have stirred up in the past, it is worthy to note that the Catholic community has by and large strived for a positive reaction to the film. Cardinal Egan, a prominent Catholic leader, reminded his flock that holding all Jews responsible for the actions of a few would be contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Hopefully, reasonable words from the clergy will temper negative sentiment that the film might arouse in its viewers. Ultimately, though, the movie is simply that – a movie. There is nothing new or groundbreaking about “The Passion.” It is not the end-all-be-all of anything.Dubinsky can be reached at gdubinsky@campustimes.org.



Furries on UR campus?

A few months ago, as I did my daily walk to class through the tunnels to escape the February cold,…

Notes by Nadia: The myth of summer vacation

Summer vacation is no longer a vacation.

Colin’s Review Rundown: Future and Metro Boomin, Lizzy McAlpine, Benson Boone, Civerous

Is it bad? Definitely not! But I found myself continually checking my phone to see how many tracks were left.