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The Passion of the Christ

This isn’t nearly as interesting a film on the central Christian idea that God came to earth in human form as ‘Last Temptation of Christ’.   Scorsese’s film had Christ feeling human doubts, urges, and temptations whereas Gibson focuses relentlessly on the pain of his body.   You could argue that’s because this film is exclusively about the passion, but I think it’s that Scorsese is an infinitely more thoughtful filmmaker than Gibson.   “The Passion” is occasionally moving but did not make me, as a non-religious person, consider the implications of Christ’s humanity/divinity to the extent that ‘Last Temptation’ did.   There are two things I admire about it: its use of original languages and its uncompromising extremism (it’s one of the most extreme films I’ve ever seen).   At the screening I attended, the scourging sequence had people heading for the exits; one woman, after several loud exclamations, positively bolted, presumably towards the restroom to throw up.

- Mar 9, 2004

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