Thursday, February 26, 2004

Reaction on the Passion

OK, I've read a few more reviews now on this film, and I am quickly coming to the opinion that the anti-Semitism controversy will be exceeded by arguments about the violence of the film.

Andrew Sullivan, though he makes some comment on the anti-Semite claim, mostly concentrates on the violence, which he abhors, for example. Roger Ebert from the Chicago Sun-Times seems mostly in favour, but also mentions the violence. Ramesh Ponnuru at the National Review again is basically positive but makes reference to the violence. And I have read the same basic theme just about everywhere since.

I think the word I would use the film to describe the word at this point - given of course that I have not seen it - is "uncompromising". We are treated to a violent spectacle. I doubt that it would be realistically possible to over-do the violence of Passion, given that the Passion of Jesus, from arrest to death took considerably longer than could ever be protrayed in a film. Not only that but there is an additional language barrier - not one word is in English (though as far as I know there are subtitles).

This is clearly not a film meant to make us feel comfortable or happy. It does not pander to modern sensibilities, does not allow us to set the agenda.

I think it will be interesting to see what I think when I have finally seen the film, but I am intending to do so in Penitential mood. It is still not clear if my local cinema will screen it. Even if it does not I will make a journey to somewhere else to see it.

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