The Passion of the Christ



Director:

Since I don’t speak Arabic, Hebrew and Latin and I can’t brail the screen to read the sub-titles, I didn’t review the film The Passion of the Christ. Below is a review written by a fellow member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, another radio personality and my friend. We have reviewed movies together for the last 5 years (me in Florida and him in North Carolina) and we see eye to eye about most movies (his eyes work) and I respect his opinion.

“A Movie that will be remembered for year’s to come”
Noel Manning

The story of Jesus and his immense suffering, agonizing crucifixion and holy resurrection for the hope of mankind is centuries old. It is a account that has been shared in churches, back alleys, dilapidated prison cells and third world country-sides for generations, yet never have I been witness to the Jesus I saw on film Monday. “The Passion of the Christ” was the most powerful and yet almost unbearable account of the final hours of Christ that I have ever heard, read or seen. To understand these last twelve hours of Jesus is to understand his mission – the mission to come to Earth as God’s son and die for the sin’s of all humankind. Mel Gibson’s, “Passion of the Christ” is a feature length motion picture portraying the betrayal, trial, beating and crucifixion of Jesus the Christ. This subtitled film craftily weaves flashbacks to earlier periods in the life of Jesus. Through these episodes, viewers gain a deeper meaning to who this person known as Jesus of Nazareth really was. Viewers also understand more fully his torments, his relationships, and his message to humanity. It has been said that this is a story that transcends languages, and that is most definitely the case with Gibson’s version. Filmed entirely in the Aramaic and Latin languages, viewers are transported to a time and a place with such vivid realism that one could imagine a CNN ticker crawling across the bottom of the screen, while witnessing life unfold before their very eyes. This is the most unfiltered and realistic version of a suffering Jesus that I have ever seen on film. Honestly, it was almost beyond my imagination of what I thought Jesus suffered. Never have I seen such brutality and torture showered onto the Jesus I have known and loved for years. Yet, as painful and unpleasant as this film was to view, it was necessary for me to serve witness to it. Before viewing the film, I thought that I was prepared for the graphic, yet necessary, violence I saw on screen. But, I wasn’t. Before viewing the film, I was sure that I was prepared for the mental and physical anguish that Jesus endured from the brutality of the soldiers that put him to death – and the betrayal and desertion of his closest friends. But, I wasn’t. Before viewing the film, I knew that I was ready to sit side by side, and hand in hand, if necessary, with the mother of Jesus, while she experienced the atrocious treatment of and ultimate sacrifice of her son. But I wasn’t. “The Passion of the Christ” is the kind of film that may strengthen the fabric of modern-day Christianity while challenging others to a deeper investigation of this message that has been called the greatest story ever told. “The Passion of the Christ” is a marvelous work of cinema. With the inventive use of ancient languages, the unparalleled acting, the magnificent set design, wardrobe, music and directing – this film is a cinematic tour de force. This film, unlike any in recent memory, has the potential to affect all who see it. It is the story of Love, Suffering, Sacrifice, Hope and Faith. It is a story, and a movie that will be talked about for days, weeks and years to come. It is a story that will continue to be told and retold as long as there are ears to hear and eyes to see.