I’m semi-interested in Mel Gibson‘s The Passion. Sure all the religious leaders are trying to make a big stink about it, but I’m not convinced that it truly is anti-Semitic. It seems to me that portraying some people of a race or ethnic group in a poor light does not mean that you feel all of them should be judged that way. In other words, we’ve got no problem blaming the Nazis for World War II and separating them from the German people as a whole; so why can’t we look at the Jewish leaders of the first century and recognize that they did the Jewish people a great disservice in many ways but not be accused of anti-Semitism? It’s a similar issue as Rush Limbaugh’s comments about McNabb. They actually weren’t racist, simply stupid. What he did was try to accuse other people of a form of reverse racism. While he was wrong, he never actually judged McNabb based on the color of his skin – merely the media’s reaction to it. Basically, I’m interested in the film because I used to be a student of The Bible, and I’m curious about how “accurate” this film will be – controversy by damned.
Before I got lost in political correction, I actually had a humorous post in mind. It turns out that Jim Caviezel, who portrays Jesus in the movie, was STRUCK BY LIGHTNING on the set. I don’t care if you’re an atheist – at that point I start wondering if this film is supposed to be finished :smile:.
2 thoughts on “Maybe this is a sign”
Yeah, reading the article, I’m not sure how something that’s supposed to be historically accurate (depending on whether or not one believes that Jesus really existed) is supposed to fuel racial/religious hatred – not any more than anything else does nowadays.
I’m not really religious but I am interested in this, if for no other reason than to see how they handle a project like this.
The nazi comment got me thinking, though… are there a lot of movies that portray americans in a negative way? The best parallels I could draw to this movie would be something like slavery, or how we fought the native americans. Something that happened a long time ago that, as a nation, we’re not particularly proud of today.
The big problem was that early screenings seemed to be viewed by some real neo-nazis who then went out and vandalized some temples and harrassed Jewish communities. While that’s awful and inexcusable, you can’t really base a review of the movie on how some hate mongers reacted to it. If you’re already biased one way or another, you’re going to follow that bias.
Personally I do feel that the Jewish leaders of the time were largely responsible for the events that transpired. Do I blame Jews for the death of Jesus? Of course not, that’s ludicrous. Would blaming Pilate make me hate Romans/Italians? Hell no. But that’s because I’m smart enough to separate the actions of individuals from baseless prejudices of various ethnic groups. Unfortunately a lot of people can’t do that, and therefore blame an entire group for the actions of a few.
And no, there really aren’t any movies that portray the Americans as grossly culpable for any tragedies in history. They are generally good at separating those responsible from those who are merely associated by basis of nationality in the realm of modern cinema. And historically, Hollywood was always biased towards the portrayal of Americans. The closest example I can think of was Turner’s grand production of the miracle that was the South (Gods and Generals), which many people have said was nothing more than apologist propoganda attempting to paint the North in a vicious light.
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