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the Passion

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  • Ayse
    ... Our department had a really interesting and productive round-table discussion with the religious studies majors about the movie today -- if any of you have
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2004
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      Quoting Brian Trafford:

      >One of the high priests dressed in the distinctive "hyper-Jewish garb"
      >(what does this mean, BTW, since I saw it as the dress one might expect
      >from a high priest, rather than from a typical Jew) spoke out against the
      >trial as being an illegal travesty. In any case, I do not see how the
      >dress of the high priests would lead the casual observer to conclude that
      >all Jews had condemned or killed Jesus, nor that Jesus' supporters were
      >somehow not Jewish simply because they were not dressed as high priests.

      Our department had a really interesting and productive round-table
      discussion with the religious studies majors about the movie today -- if
      any of you have the opportunity, I highly recommend doing this with your
      classes, by the way. In this discussion, one of my colleagues mentioned
      that not only did at least two priests storm out of the Sanhedrin to
      protest the kangaroo court that had been convened that night, but, she
      said, in the following scene, she was pretty sure that Caiaphas' attendants
      were different. She wasn't sure, and obviously since the movie's not out
      on DVD we can't watch the scene again without signing up for the whole
      two-hour ordeal :)

      Did anyone else get the impression that the divisions within the Sanhedrin
      were actually portrayed more subtly than it may appear at first
      glance? Needless to say, if these scenes were done *SO* subtly that it
      takes two watchings from a professor of religion and film to catch them,
      that doesn't get Gibson off the hook. A tiny countermessage can complexify
      an overwhelmingly obvious message, but it doesn't excuse it. That said, I
      do think the intention, if it was there, is interesting, and it may count
      for something.

      Not that anyone asked for my opinion, but I found the message of these
      parts of the movie to be much more anticlerical than anti-Semitic (ironic
      coming from a Catholic director!). The impression that I got was that the
      Jewish *leadership* is bad, and that the peasant Jews who lined the road to
      Calvary were the heroes. Does nobody remember when a Roman soldier sneers
      "Jew" at Simon of Cyrene?

      Ayse Tuzlak
      University of Calgary
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