Daily Film Editor Zach Maybee gave Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ” 4.5 out of 5 stars in today’s Daily, calling it in his review a “brilliant triumph of Biblically inspired filmmaking.” Excerpts:
” … Preliminary concerns surfaced quite early, and still persist, about the Gospel that Gibson and company portray. Charges of anti-Semitism are prevalent, and questions of the filmís historical accuracy abound. Both ought to be dismissed; the film tells a story that adheres remarkably to the Biblical Gospels. To be sure, the film does depict the Jewish high priests as strongly committed to undermining Christís ministry. This, however, is in accordance with the Gospel telling of the matter; any criticisms of Gibsonís movie should be similarly leveled against the Bible itself.
In any event, the fact that the Jewish high priests indict Jesus relentlessly should not be of great concern. The Roman soldiers, after all, are portrayed as the veritable savages; they, if any group, are characterized in a decidedly negative light. More importantly, no Christian viewer should distinguish one group as being more involved than others in the death of Jesus. All bear equal responsibility, and to think otherwise would run contrary to a foundational tenet of the faith. […]
Some have condemned this frank violence as a sadistic or hyper-religious fetish of Gibsonís. They argue, in turn, that it overshadows the love or other essential traits of Jesus. On the contrary: It is exactly what so many films about Christ have, to a flaw, lacked. Jesus, as Christians hold, sacrificed his life for the collective sins of humanity; he bore upon his shoulders an immeasurably burdensome yoke. This grand sacrifice deserves candid and revealing consideration. … “
Meanwhile, spotted on my spring break, a church sign reading: “Who killed Jesus?” Easy question: the Romans.