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Posted: 6/25/2003 2:19:15 PM EDT
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29342-2003Jun25.html washingtonpost.com Gibson's Jesus Pic Faces More Anti-Semitism Charges Reuters Wednesday, June 25, 2003; 3:39 AM By Gregg Kilday LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Continuing to raise concerns over "The Passion," the Mel Gibson-directed film about the last days of Jesus Christ, the Anti-Defamation League of America (ADL) charged Tuesday that, based on a study of an early version of the screenplay, the project could be "replete with objectionable elements that would promote anti-Semitism." The ADL embraced the findings of an interfaith committee of scholars that has raised objections to the unreleased film -- even though the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has distanced itself from the same group. In its statement, the ADL contended that Gibson and his collaborators "must complement their artistic vision with sound scholarship, which includes knowledge of how the passion accounts have been used historically to disparage and attack Jews and Judaism. Absent such scholarly and theological understanding, productions such as 'The Passion' could likely falsify history and fuel the animus of those who hate Jews." "To be certain, neither I nor my film are anti-Semitic," Gibson said in a previously released statement, which his spokesman provided in response to the latest allegation. "Nor do I hate anybody -- certainly not the Jews," continued Gibson, who is a devout Catholic. "They are my friends and associates, both in my work and social life. Thankfully, treasured friendships forged over decades are not easily shaken by nasty innuendo. Anti-Semitism is not only contrary to my personal beliefs, it is also contrary to the core message of my movie." Gibson directed "The Passion," which he also co-wrote and produced through his Icon Entertainment banner, in Italy earlier this year. Filmed in Aramaic and Latin, the project stars James Caviezel as Christ and has not yet been shown to potential distributors. The ADL first began to raise concerns about the film in March, in both a letter to the New York Times and a letter addressed to Gibson that the organization posted on its Web site. The controversy erupted again earlier this month when a report was leaked to the media that had been prepared by scholars, associated with both the ADL and the USCCB, based on a study of an early version of the script and containing a long list of objections. The USCCB, however, quickly dissociated itself from the report, with Mark Chopko, general counsel for the USCCB, saying: "We regret the situation has occurred and offer our apologies. ... When the film is released, the USCCB will review it at the time." In its current statement, the ADL says it "fully stands behind" the scholars' report and raises a series of questions such as, "Will the final version of 'The Passion' continue to portray Jews as bloodthirsty, sadistic and money-hungry enemies of Jesus?" Myrna Shinbaum, a spokesperson for the ADL, said the group issued its first official public statement on the subject Tuesday in response to repeated press inquiries. "When these kind of issues are raised and we feel concern, we speak out even before the film has been made," she said, acknowledging that the concerns are based on an early version of the screenplay. "We haven't seen it yet, so we can't speak to the film itself. "In expressing our concerns," Shinbaum added, "we hope we can have a dialogue with Gibson and Icon to allay the fears of the Jewish community." Reuters/Hollywood Reporter © 2003 Reuters
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:29:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2003 2:29:48 PM EDT by Kar98]
Great. In a PC version of the movie, Jesus would have to turn water into low-calorie fruit juice, feed the masses with full-grain bread and fish caught without hurting dolphins, he couldn't be walking on water lest he disturbes the freckled scumsucker (a rare fish, not a jew), and of course the complete cast would have to consist of African-Araemicans. His father would be known as Joseph the aroma therapy candlemaker, Maria Magdalena would be a loving and caring streetworker, and Mary of course wouldn't have been married to either of the father of her kids (that is to say, neither to Joe the Candlemaker, nor to the Snoop Doggy Spirit). And he rideth into the town of Bethlehem in his solar-powereth hemp car, 'cause PETA threw a fit when they found out there would be donkeys involved.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:35:22 PM EDT
I just hope Gibson doesn't back down and make a more PC version of the movie. If it is released like he describes it, it will be damn good, even if it does piss a bunch of people off.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:38:10 PM EDT
Jews complaining about bad movies????? Oh the irony.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 3:31:14 PM EDT
If someone makes a movie about Jesus being tempted by sex or whatever, that would be cool, modern, and hip. I mean hell, thats probably what happened anyway [rolleyes]. But if someone makes a movie that the liberal press and/or the retarded ADL (who would'nt know a Facist if he come and shook their hands) does not like, then a Gag order is in effect. What the HELL EVER....
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 3:53:08 PM EDT
I will withold judgement untill I see the film. But it can be possible to make a offensive film if too much reliance is placed on the Mark gospel. It was written in Rome, by a gentile convert to Christianity after the failure of the Jewish Revolt of 66-70. It is NOT made up work, the author was clearly working from early versions of the gospels we know as Matthew and Luke, but events are reorderd to produce a very anti-Semetic version of Jesus's life story.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 3:59:57 PM EDT
I think Mel should be allowed to make the movie. Let the people decide what they want to see.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 4:10:02 PM EDT
Whatever. They should wait until the final film is shown, there will be plenty of time to complain (giving the film more of a reason to see it. Remember Last Temptation of Christ?). The film will be screened to distributors, critics, executives, etc. Certainly somebody would mention if it is anti-semetic. Right now they are grandstanding, and in my opinion, hurting their cause. Besides "Jews complaining about bad movies" is hilarious!
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