I was surprised by how unmoved I was by the violence in Gibson's film. While my intention was to view it "through eyes of faith", I thought the film missed the emotional and spiritual heart of the Passion.
That said, even bad - or indifferent - art can offer material for spiritual reflection. It was a useful reminder that the Cross is not a logo and that the Crucifixion was a brutal and ugly affair. I watched the film in Holy Week and it did add depths to my Good Friday thoughts on the trauma felt by Mary and the disciples in the hours afterwards - and to my reflection on the possibility that "this was all there was".
I did think there was a basis for the charges of anti-semitism - an over-enthusiastic evocation of the authority of the high priests and - in particular a scene in which two young children turn out to be demons. Jewish critics can reasonably claim to be more sensitive to antisemitic nuances than non Jewish observers.
The Passion of the Christmovie
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