The Passion Of The Christ is the story of the last few hours of Jesus and it begins with the Roman guards taking Jesus away from the garden he was staying in with his apostles. From there it is a violent and gruesome movie about the bloody beatings Jesus was said to have endured and then a very graphic representation of his crucifixion. For all that it tried to do The Passion Of The Christ was doomed from the start as far as religious credibility goes because it is largely based on a passion play that was created in the Middle Ages to stir up negative feelings about the Jews. Many in the modern day Jewish community questioned Mel Gibson’s intentions as they began to say that Gibson was anti-semitic and that recreating The Passion Of The Christ for feature on film was Gibson’s way of creating a new religion designed to eliminate the Jews. The response was overwhelmingly polarized as people that were pro-Gibson argued that the Passion Of The Christ is a must see movie for everyone so that they can know what Jesus suffered through for our sins and people who agreed with the anti-semitic rhetoric against Gibson. Not helping matters was an interview done right around the time The Passion Of The Christ was released with Mel Gibson’s father that contained some very anti-semitic statements. When Mel Gibson went on international television to defend his father the whole world took sides on the issue. Whether or not The Passion Of The Christ was meant to be an attempt to once again stir sentiments against Jewish people will probably ever be known, but what can be said is that if it was not an attempt to stir sentiment then it was the most emotional attempt at being non-confrontational ever created.
The Passion Of The Christ was given to radical Christian groups in the United States to screen before it was officially released. It was even given to the Pope to watch and it was reported that the Pope said about the movie “it is as it was” but that was never confirmed. The plan to give a pre-release to the Christian groups was brilliant because they felt obliged to not only see it in the theaters but to also to try and bring as many people along with them as they could to share the movie with them. It was an incredibly emotional movie that divided whole groups of people and left very few on the fence. In the end the commotion died down and Mel Gibson went on to be arrested for drunk driving just 2 years later where he allegedly blamed the Jews for his problems. Some people never learn.