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Comments On "The Passion Of The Christ"
By Caye Caswick

On Sunday March 14 - 36 parishioners from St. Luke went to see the Passion of the Christ. After the showing, the Movie Club led by Ken Stevens met at his home for a discussion. The comments below made by Caye Caswick are an example of some of the remarks given in the discussion.

I thought The Passion of The Christ was a tremendously moving movie. I was well prepared for the movie, or so I thought. I had read as many reviews as I could find. I also began reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to further refresh my memory of the events. The movie started out beautifully - I thought The Garden of Gethsemane was quite lush - and the night sky was a little eerie -a fog even hung in the air. You could see Jesus lamenting on the events about to occur. Then the movie took a very serious tone as Satan made an appearance, and it was quite a long time until its tone changed again.

I found Mel Gibson's use of flashbacks and his interpretation of Satan to be extremely well thought out and beautifully interwoven into the movie. I also think his selection of cast was outstanding - especially the key characters, Jesus, Mary and Satan. Actually, when I learned he had chosen a woman to play the part of Satan, I could hardly wait until the movie opened. When I saw Satan appear in the movie I was even more impressed than I had thought I would be with a woman playing the part. She didn't really look all that feminine - more genderless, amazing.

You have probably already heard how brutally Christ was treated. I won't disagree that almost the entire movie was vicious - and I can't really decide if it all was really necessary - although after having seen it, I can't say it should have been different. Maybe it was necessary. Maybe Mel Gibson could have gone into a little more depth on his use of flashbacks - although, that might have been overdone. He did do an excellent job of weaving those into the movie.

I don't think I've ever cried for anyone as hard as I did not only for Christ, but for Mary - it was so difficult to watch her lose her son, and so brutally, all the while him being taunted. I actually found myself feeling extremely relieved once he died - that his suffering was over and his victory over death and Satan were complete. There was also a flicker of hope at the very end of the movie when you see his tomb empty, and you realize in a new way just how powerful his existence was, is and always shall be.

I have had a couple discussions with people who wished the ending of the movie had gone on a bit longer. I'm not sure that was necessary, as I really breathed a sigh of relief and did get a glimmer of hope from the ending. For me it was done appropriately, but maybe focusing a little more on the resurrection wouldn't have been a bad idea. I did see Diane Sawyer interview Mel before the movie opened, and he did want to focus specifically on the last 12 hours of Christ's life - so he was true to his aim.

I think that the most important thing about the movie that I have noticed since I saw it was that it has sparked a lot of discussion. I hear people discussing it everywhere, at work, on the train, at lunch, in line at the store, nearly everywhere. I think that's great. There are so many people in the world today who don't ever think of religion, let alone Jesus and His dying for us. My hope is that the movie has a fabulously long run and that it becomes a classic, and generation after generation sees it and discusses it. I believe once it has been seen in other countries, we'll hear more differing opinions. Just think what the Middle East might think of it, could be pretty interesting. Maybe it will do the world a great service. I sure hope so; only one way to find out - time will tell.

If you plan on going as a family with children - or even better with grandparents, aunts and uncles -- I suggest the parents view the movie first, and then prepare the children for what they are about to witness. The movie is not appropriate for small children. It would be oh, so appropriate, to have a family meal to discuss all the different opinions shortly after such a viewing.

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