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Re: Seattle Catholic - Photos from Mel Gibson's Latin Movie, The Passion

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  • orthodoxchurch_sg
    ... issue ... and ... film ... of ... the ... day ... Gibson ... his ... blood ... theory ... suffered, ... paradoxically ... however, ... moment ... on ...
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 8, 2003
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      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "frpeterjackson"
      <frpeterjackson@y...> wrote:
      > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "orthodoxchurch_sg"
      > <orthodoxchurch_sg@y...> wrote:
      > > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "stefanvpavlenko"
      > > <StefanVPavlenko@n...> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Those pictures truly make one think about what Our Lord Jesus
      > REALLY
      > > > suffered!
      > > >
      > > Evlogeite!

      > I'm glad you mentioned this. I am writing a piece on this very
      > right now. I appreciate Mr. Gibson's courageous stand for Christ,
      > he has been pilloried in the media, but the fact remains that the
      > film has serious drawbacks. First, there is the issue you mention:
      > Can Christ be portrayed in a film? Some would argue that such a
      > can be a powerful and effective tool for leading someone to Christ.
      > Perhaps. I maintain that the most powerful visual tool is an icon
      > Christ and of his Crucifixion. Of course the Resurrection is
      > inseparable from the Passion, but the film in question stops at our
      > Lord's death. And the most powerful aural tool is the Holy Thursday
      > Matins of the Twelve Passion Gospels.
      > Gibson's film was not based solely on Scripture and Orthodox
      > Tradition. He makes no bones about the fact that he bases it on the
      > purported visions of an 18th cent. mystic, Anne Catherine Emmerich,
      > who claimed God showed her a vision of what "really" happened at
      > Crucifixion. She also claimed to have had visions of every single
      > of Christ 3 1/2 yr. ministry and of the creation of the world.
      > decided to make his film after a copy of Emmerich's
      > book "miraculously" fell into his hands.
      > Western views of Christ's sacrifice emphasize His victimhood over
      > victory. This is why RC depictions are often so gory. The more
      > and guts we see, the more we are assured of our salvation, the
      > goes. But in Orthodox icons, Christ is the "the King of Glory" and
      > little blood is depicted, if any. This is because in the West, sin
      > and grace are quantifiable commodities, so the more Christ
      > the better for us. For a Western Christian, then, it is
      > comforting to view the blood and gore. In Orthodox thought,
      > what is salient is the fact that Christ died, not how much He may
      > have suffered. His death trampled down death, so that His rising
      > might bestow life. A film such as Gibson's which stops at the
      > of Christ's death misses the boat. It is not uncommon for RC films
      > Christ to omit the Resurrection. For them the Crucifixion is
      > more central to their piety, while the Resurrection is often viewed
      > as an epilogue.
      > A correspondent of mine noted that if we were present at the actual
      > Crucifixion, we would indeed have seen the blood and gore Gibson
      > presents to his audience. True enough. But neither the Gospel
      > accounts nor our iconography nor our hymnography revel in all this
      > morbidity as the West does.
      > We need to support traditional-minded Christians like Mel Gibson
      > they are being attacked by our culture. But this does not mean we
      > should view, support or recommend his film. It is scheduled to be
      > released around Pascha next year. I shudder to think of Orthodox
      > Christians going to see this film to "supplement" their worship. I
      > shudder even more to contemplate those who might see the film
      > of attending Passion Week services.
      > Fr. Peter Jackson

      Many thanks for your thoughtful response to my question. I had not
      realised that Mr Gibson's film ended before the Resurrection. For
      this reason alone, I suggest, it cannot be consistant with our
      Orthodox Faith.
      Paradoxically, Pasolini's "Gospel of Matthew" (for which I retain a
      pre-conversion 'soft-spot', despite my qualms about a man 'playing'
      our Saviour) goes right to the end - cinematigraphically, a wonderful
      appearance of the Angel to the Myrrh-bearers, and beyond) because, as
      a communist-atheist, he saw the Gospel as a literature text and
      included everything!
      Fr Daniel
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