Friday, February 27, 2004

Non-Movie Review

Not reviewed by me, anyway. I can't think of much more worthless than a movie review by one who hasn't seen the movie. So this one isn't by me but by Kenneth Woodward who actually has seen the movie. (What do you mean "Which one?" Is there more than one movie out?) Most of his comments seem particularly well taken when considering the nature of the criticism (and praise, for that matter) of the film.

From the New York Times:

Watching "The Passion of the Christ," Mel Gibson's new movie, I kept thinking the following: it is Christians, not Jews, who should be shocked by this film.

Mr. Gibson's raw images invade our religious comfort zone, which has long since been cleansed of the Gospels' harsher edges. Most Americans worship in churches where the bloodied body of Jesus is absent from sanctuary crosses or else styled in ways so abstract that there is no hint of suffering. In sermons, too, the emphasis all too often is on the smoothly therapeutic: what Jesus can do for me.

More than 60 years ago, H. Richard Neibuhr summarized the creed of an easygoing American Christianity that has in our time triumphantly come to pass: "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment though the ministrations of a Christ without a cross." Despite its muscular excess, Mr. Gibson's symbol-laden film is a welcome repudiation of all that.


The rest of the article is here.