The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

New movie should answer questions

OP/ED
 New movie should answer questions
New movie should answer questions

New movie should answer questions

I remember once discussing religion with a close friend. Shetold me that the only way she would ever understand my faith was ifsomething drastic were to happen in her life.

We discontinued that discussion and unconcluded for almost twoyears. Colloquial speech never was my forte, and I didn’tknow how to speak to her on the topic at that time.

Now, I believe I do have a comment to that discussion, thanks toa famous actor and director. Something drastic has already happenedin her life. It happened over 2000 years ago.

And on Feb. 25, the greatest story the world has ever known willbe told again on the big screen.

The Passion of the Christ, directed and produced by Mel Gibson,is a film that chronicles the final hours of Jesus’ life. Iwas able to catch a sneak preview of the film last year at The CallTexas at the Cotton Bowl. The trailer alone was intense.

Even before the film started production, special interest groupshave tried to keep the movie from coming to theaters, claiming thatit is anti-Semitic and portrays Jews in a bad light.

Some folks just don’t want to see it on the big screen,period.

The Passion has stirred up controversy in all arenas. AnIMDB.com message board for the movie has critics and supportersboth posting, not necessarily about the movie itself but about thestory the movie depicts.

I find it difficult to understand how a film about Christ canraise so much hell (no pun intended). Films in the past haveportrayed Jesus and other biblical accounts, in many of whichCharleton Heston had a leading role of some sort. George Stevensdirected The Greatest Story Ever Told in 1965. Why should ThePassion be any different?

For one thing, Stevens’ film, though fairly accurate tothe New Testament accounts, was incredibly long and boring.

The Omega Code sequel and the Left Behind series attempted toact out Revelations. However, these films have proven that lowbudgets, poor production crews and volunteer actors are adisastrous combination to a media-saturated culture.

Let’s face it; the Star Wars era spoiled us rotten.

But Gibson is a seasoned veteran of top-quality films. WithBraveheart under his belt, he’s not going put anything lessinto another project, which is why he poured $25 million of his ownmoney into the making of The Passion.

“The Holy Ghost was working through me on thisfilm,” Gibson has said.

I don’t claim to understand Gibson’s relationshipwith God. But I think if he’s willing to put more into ThePassion than what he put into Braveheart, then he’s producedone of the most powerful evangelical tools in existence.

We are a culture that thrives on media. Twenty-four hours a daywe are bombarded by advertisements, news and entertainment fromtelevision, radio and literature. Every weekend, movie houses andtheaters are packed. Even in a slow economy, the entertainmentindustry thrives and flourishes.

“The Passion is a movie meant to inspire, notoffend,” Gibson said in a statement published in the tradenewspaper Variety. “My intention in bringing it to the screenis to create a lasting work of art and engender serious thoughtamong audiences of diverse faith backgrounds.”

Gibson made clear that his film does not portray Jews, Romans orany single group in a bad light. It portrays everyone in a badlight. Gibson wants to show in the film that his own sin drove thenails into Christ’s hands, thrust the crown of thorns on hishead and stabbed the spear into his side.

Gibson’s film tells the story that while Jesus was broughtbefore Pontius Pilate, Christ’s faithful servant Peter deniedhim three times. It shows that he endured unimaginable torturewhile his apostles ran and hid in dark corners, fearing for theirown safety. The film illustrates that one of Jesus’ closecircle of friends, Judas Iscariot, was the one who betrayed him fora sack of silver.

I don’t have the opportunity to see my friend muchanymore. However, I hope that she, as well as the rest ofSMU’s students, staff and faculty, will see The Passion, ifnot for its message, then for the sake of seeing a quality filmwith fantastic cinematography, acting and direction.

I hope that Gibson’s film will somehow show her that thefoundation of the Christian faith isn’t based on theenlightenment of a man or the prophecies and crusades ofanother.

I hope this film will show it’s based on one man’slove that drove him to a glorious doom and ultimately to a gloriousvictory.

It should, at least.

 

Christine Dao is a columnist for The Daily Campus. She may bereached at [email protected].

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