Well, I saw Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” on opening night, and one thing that should be said is that it was not oversold. It was at once probably the most compelling and repelling movie experience of my life. Entertaining it probably isn’t, in the sense that term is ordinarily used. I could see “Casablanca” fifteen more times; I probably won’t see this one again. Anti-Semitic? Only if you believe that the Gospels are. As Gibson has said, there were only Jews and Romans in the courtyard; no Norwegians were there. He has also said, which I believe to be true, that substantially all the criticism he has received is not mainly about him, but about the New Testament. Violent? To the extreme, but purposefully, and not gratuitously so, as with much exploitative violence in the movies today, which I will not watch. All in all, it is a great movie, and I recommend it to people of all faiths.
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