Passionate about ‘The Passion’

Passionate about 'The Passion'

by Mallory Higgins

The national controversy over “The Passion of the Christ” spreadto Simpson in the past few weeks as students and faculty beganviewing director Mel Gibson’s account of Jesus’ final 12 hours.

While some said they were moved by the portrayal of thecrucifixion of Christ, others found the film a numbing departurefrom the stories told in the New Testament.

Mark Gammon, assistant professor of religion, had a differentidea of the movie before and after he saw it.

“I went into the movie with an open mind and was prepared todefend the movie,” Gammon said. “Now I have a problem with how itwas presented.”

Gammon said the film bored him after the initial shock of theviolence wore off.

He said the violence became so repetitive that it made himnumb.

Gammon said that he wasn’t impressed with how Gibson took thefour gospels from the New Testament and chose those parts he wantedto use in this movie. He said that even though they are all witnessevents, they are all very different.

“It seems like Gibson picked out the most anti-Jew parts of theprophecies, whether it was intentional or not,” Gammon said. “Thefour prophecies are very different and to mix them all togetherdoes not make the movie accurate.”

Gammon also said parts of the Bible were highlighted forcinematic excitement. He said the beating of Jesus, which meritstwo lines in the Bible, drags on for almost 20 minutes.

Melvin Wilk, a professor of English who is also Jewish, said the”excess of violence” in the film is “unhealthy.”

“The treatment of Jesus in this movie was sadistic,” said Wilk,who hasn’t seen the film. “The continuous violence makes me notwant to see it.”

Wilk also said Gibson doesn’t have a clear or deep understandingof the spiritual or transcendent symbol of Christ.

He said that it seemed like the story of Christ in this movie islopsided in that it focused too much on the physical details of thecrucifixion and not on its symbolism.

Both Wilk and Gammon said the movie will take away from thesymbolic view of Jesus. They said the film portrays Jesus as a”superman,” but he was still just a human being who suffered whilebeing executed.

Simpson sophomore Jordan Oschwald, who is considering a careerin ministry, said he enjoyed “The Passion of the Christ” and was sotouched that he saw it twice in its opening weeks.

“It made me re-examine what I have been doing lately in mylife,” Oschwald said. “I am here because that happened, and I needto share that with as many people as I can”

The controversy over the film gave it one of the most popularopenings in movie-industry history. The film grossed more than $125million in its first five days of release.

While many students said they do not intend to see Gibson’s filmbecause of its violence, Oschwald said Simpson students shouldn’tbe frightened from attending.

“Jesus was a human as well as God,” he said. “He went throughmore suffering than we will in our lives. He did that for peoplewho turned their backs on him, for people who denied what happened,for people whose lives do not represent him, and he would do itagain in a second.”