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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 08:40 GMT 09:40 UK
The Passion of the Christ: Your views
A controversial film directed by the actor Mel Gibson which depicts the Crucifixion has opened in the UK.

The Passion of the Christ has already been criticised by some Jewish groups who claim it blames Jews for the death of Jesus.

However, Mel Gibson has denied that the film is anti-Semitic, saying he has faithfully portrayed the Bible's account.

Have you seen The Passion of the Christ?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

God has surely rewarded his good and faithful servant, Mel Gibson
Jane, Kent, UK
The profits speak for themselves. Over $300 million so far. God has surely rewarded his good and faithful servant, Mel Gibson. Mel started out his adult life having trouble with drink and other excesses but this proves that it is never too late to turn your life around. God rewards those who do good works in His name. I think the profits from this little movie that critics thought no one would want to see, speak for themselves.
Jane, Kent, UK

Being a Muslim we've got a totally different version of the story. However, this does not contradict the fact the Christian version of Jesus' life was well presented in this movie, I loved it.
Yusuf, U.A.E.

If it angers you fine, if it makes you sad, good. If it provokes a sincere sense of guilt, even better. The expectation that it would be factually true to the extent that everyone would agree is amazing. Mel Gibson should be applauded for his masterful portrayal of the Christ's sacrifice and what it really stands for.
Jim, Etown, KY, USA

I think that the charge of anti-Semitism against the movie is vastly over stated. Mel seems to go out of his way to point the accusing finger at the religious leaders of the day rather than the Jews in general. We must also remember that the hero of this film, as well as all his friends, are Jews.
Chris Taylor, Cape Town, South Africa

People complain about the violence but without it, I doubt that the powerful image of Jesus suffering for mankind would have been conveyed so effectively
S, London
This film is a masterpiece. A lot of people complain about the violence but without it, I doubt that the powerful image of Jesus suffering for mankind would have been conveyed so effectively.
S, London

An unremarkable film, recounting accurately, as far as we know, a 2000 year old story. Gratuitous violence at a level which would have been cut from other films for that reason alone. Only the subject matter has allowed this level of sadism to be portrayed.
Dave M, Manchester, UK

Indeed the movie is faithful to the gospels. I believe the Pope expressed it best¿"it is, as it was". About the profits, I believe it's a blessing for the leap of faith Gibson took in making the movie. No one should complain, after all no one cared when he risked the $30m for the movie...
Brendon Bure , Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

I fail to understand how the film can be viewed as anti-Semitic
Andrew Dueman, Forest Gate, London

The movie shouldn't turn the viewers against the Jews or any other nation. It should bring us altogether in shocking realization as to how much the Son of God suffered for the love of mankind. Love is the key word and the quintessence of Christ's life, not the brutality and certainly not hatred. We, the people, not the Jews, sentenced Christ to death. We have to realize that and pray for forgiveness and salvation! What this movie tells me is how divine and infinite is the love of Christ for us all.
Milica, Bijeljina, BiH

What do I think about "The Passion of the Christ"? I think we should stop making Him suffer. I think we should stop selling His suffering for profit. I think we should stop nailing Him again and again and again and again . . . Hasen't He suffered enough?
Yianni Palos, USA

Having seen the Passion of Christ last Friday with my wife, I fail to understand how the film can be viewed as anti-Semitic. The film stays true to the Gospels and also that foretold by Isiah 52 and 53 in the Old Testament.
Andrew Dueman, Forest Gate, London

I've seen the movie twice and definitely would say it is the most powerful movie I have ever seen. No one will ever make a movie as good as this again. For those that complain about the gore need to study Christ's life. The central mission for him on earth was to sacrifice himself for our redemption.
RICK PORTER, Delta, Utah, USA

Words cannot describe how emotional this film made me feel. Shocking, yes. Gruesome, clearly. Brilliant, absolutely. But not anti-Semitic as some have claimed. Mel Gibson deserves an Oscar for bringing the Bible to life in such a powerful and moving way. As a film, and as a story, it is utterly fantastic.
Matt Wood, St. Asaph, Wales

The movie is no doubt a masterpiece
Steven Novelli, Leawood, KS
The movie is no doubt a masterpiece. No one should be offended by it. What is offending me are the chastisements about making a profit; and how the money should have been spent helping the poor; or how Mr. Gibson (he has my complete respect) should give away the profits as Christ would have. Mr. Gibson probably has given orders of magnitude more money to charitable causes than the sum of all donations by these self-righteous reviewers. Seeing how quickly these people judge others indicates they have completely missed Christ's message.
Steven Novelli, Leawood, KS

Mel Gibson's previous film - Braveheart - was factually incorrect and controversial. In this film, geared for modern tastes, the same formula is repeated with lots of publicity/discussion and more bucks for Gibson.
Ann, London, UK

I was left speechless. I know more what Christ went through to save me from my sins. The first movie I ever watched that I felt like I was being struck. Awesome.
Randy Cook, Jasper, Alabama (USA)

The film is done very well and is quite moving. The only argument I have is the film is presented as historical. The Gospels of the New Testament were written anonymously for theological purposes, not as a work of historical fact. The depiction of Pilate as a compassionate figure cannot be further from the truth. Historical fact shows Pilate as a sadistic ruler that was relieved of his command for being too sadistic who later committed suicide.
Steven, Boston, Ma

It's hard to believe how self-righteous and judgemental people are about this movie. To all those who think they know what Mel Gibson should do with his profits "if he's a real Christian," let me point out that Gibson could have lost every penny of $30,000,000...when's the last time you took such a risk for your faith? Judge not lest ye be judged, indeed...
Ben, Fargo ND, USA

The Bible doesn't mesh well with our self-gratification obsessed society
Lisa, London, UK
This movie is not meant to "convert" anyone to Christianity nor is it an effort to put blame on Jews for a significant event in the Christian faith. It is for Christians, a depiction of what it was probably like for Christ to experience being crucified for the sins of man. Most Christians leaving theatres have come away with a deeper appreciation for Christ's sacrifice. All the rest is just rubbish trumped up by those who do not want the message of Jesus Christ out there on such a massive scale. We live in an age in which society doesn't like to talk about religion unless it's something new, trendy or radical. The notion of Jesus is thought of as old fashioned and the Bible doesn't mesh well with our self-gratification obsessed society.
Lisa, London, UK

When is the last time anyone wanted to ban anything in Europe or the UK, out of "fear" that it "might" fuel anti-Semitic feeling? Not in a long, long, long, long time. An EU commission report saying that there has been actual anti-Semitic acts in Europe in the past few years get buried by political correctness. But now, everyone is worried because of this film? How hypocritical can you get? (I am agnostic, by the way, neither Jewish nor Christian.)
Jennie Laurie, USA

I believe this is a divinely inspired movie. It transcends the normal trivia we are fed by Hollywood and touches our souls in a way that moves us to examine ourselves and our daily lives. I will be forever grateful to Mel Gibson for having the vision and courage to release this film. It is not anti-Semitic. If anything, it is anti-Hierarchy and reminds us what happens when humans value the established order more than they value God. Organized religions, take heed! (And by the way, I am Catholic)
Sharon Hartung, Currie, USA

I think it is no different than another story being told. It is simply another person's interpretation and idea of history. If people are really misguided enough to be brainwashed by a film then there is no way forward in this world. Although I do understand what people are saying and why it has caused so much controversy, it is still a good film, worth watching!
Craig Haskins, Bath, UK

Do not listen to what others say go watch it with a clear mind and make your own observations
G, Washington DC, USA

I have seen this movie and thought it was a great work of art. Do not listen to what others say go watch it with a clear mind and make your own observations. For those who claim that this movie does not portray the life of Jesus well, you are missing the point. The film is about his last 12 hours and not about his preaching or his life. He did incur a lot of suffering in those last 12 hours and I believe the film portrays that well.
G, Washington DC, USA

This is not blood and gore; this is truth and reality. Cut your finger - you'll see blood like crazy. Get whipped more than 30 times; what do you expect to see?
Andrew, Colombia

This film was not anti-Semetic. This film was not violent for violence sake, it was the truth. Why people can't admit the truth is beyond me. All in all a great portrayal of what took place. I cried a lot then got mad!
Mark Anderson, Mid-West, U.S.A.

I came out of the cinema so affected by the movie that what was reality around me seemed to be surreal! I have never experienced anything like this before - as a believer it amplified the pain and suffering that my Lord and saviour went through on the cross for me - it also made me realise that the people I passed in the street were oblivious to their fate! This is a film that all humans must see!
Alison, Brighton

Being an agnostic, I went to see the film after hearing and reading people's comments. Now I can reaffirm what I always thought about religion - it only helps to separate people!
Esteban, Buenos Aires / Argentina

To all who have posted messages stating that it would have been more "Christian" to spend his money on charity, rather than making his film: Is the 25 million not worth it if he converts a few people to Christianity? I am not a practicing Christian, but in my limited exposure, I seem to remember something about Christians having to spread the Good News. This is as good a way as any, in my book. If someone stands on a street corner preaching, they are considered a nut, but Mel Gibson creates a visual stunner, and look how many have gone to see it.
Heather, KCK, USA

I have seen the film twice. I commend Mel Gibson for his bold stance on portraying the last days of Christ. I believed that the film had strong violence, but needless to say if the portrayal that was done is true to the gospels, just imagine how much more violence actually took place in the flesh 2000 years ago. There is no comparison. I only hope that millions more would see the movie and be changed as I have.
Erica m., Fort Lauderdale, USA

I think Mel Gibson took great courage to make such film. I think that people are complaining because they have become comfortable with the status quo and anything that challenges that is seen as negative. If anyone has read the bible will realise that he is telling the story of the stations of the cross. The film is not as graphic as Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction. As a child one of my first books was My book of bible stories and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I went to see it with my friends from university and you could just tell those apart who grew up with religious literature.
Yvonne Cole, UK

The truth always hurts. Mel Gibson brought the Holly Bible to the big screen I don't see any harm in that. People have been reading the bible for years the only difference is seeing the words come to life. And why make a big fuss over the violence in this movie, what about all of the other action movies packed with killings, shootings and rapes and also with T.V. shows? You don't hear much negative talk about that.
Veronica, Dublin, GA

In a time plagued by religious conflict we need Christians to put Christ's teachings into action and not revel in indulgent violence
Ruth, London, UK
I went to see the film last night, with an open mind. I left the cinema not feeling moved at Christ's death, as I expected, but disgusted and angry that anyone would want to make a film as horrific as this. The complete over-simplification and lack of subtlety which is a hallmark of Gibson's so-called 'historical' films was particularly offensive in this sensitive context. I am a committed Christian yet felt no connection whatsoever with this Jesus. I am sad that so many Christians are trying to use this as an evangelical tool. I think the vast majority of agnostics will be put off Christianity by this film. There was very little portrayal of the context and reason for Christ's crucifixion; in a time plagued by religious conflict we need Christians to put Christ's teachings into action and not revel in indulgent violence.
Ruth, London, UK

I watched the movie a few weeks ago. It was a spellbinding graphic movie. I do not understand, what right people have to decide or even comment on how Mel Gibson spends his profits from the movie? He spent 30 million dollars of his own money to make the movie, even when the odds of it becoming success was against him. What he does with his profits is nobody's business.
Shahal, Dallas, USA

Whether you believe Jesus was God's son or not, these events did take place. I am proud to be a Catholic and admire the fact that Mel Gibson has had the courage and no doubt inspiration from the Holy Spirit to give us such an insight into Christ's suffering. The film is a prayer, a true 'Stations of the Cross' and will no doubt bring many closer to God. Thank you Mel. As for many religious leaders opposed to this film, whether Christian or not, you could learn a lot from the film if you open your hearts.
Liz Winiarski, Swindon

I saw this film in Malta while on holiday. I was reduced to tears, I do not understand why. I will now read the Christian bible to understand better. It is so different from what I was taught!
Ahmed Amadi, Sousse, Tunisia

I am sorry to see so many people brainwashed by this fictional story. Ancient myths and superstitions will be the downfall of humanity.
Steve, Yorba Linda USA

The movie helped me to more fully realize the enormity of Christ's love and sacrifice
Joseph, New York, USA
The movie was a faithful depiction of the Biblical narrative. During the movie, I was both grief-stricken by the torture and crucifixion scenes and uplifted by the resurrection scene. The movie helped me to more fully realize the enormity of Christ's love and sacrifice.
Joseph, New York, USA

A difficult film to watch and one that left me shaken - but as a Catholic a film that has forced me to look once again at the Way of the Cross - an image one can become too comfortable with. Mel Gibson has done something very special - he has caused people to talk about Christ - someone people find irrelevant in society today. Thank you Gibson!
Patrick, Liverpool

Mixed reviews? The film has already crossed the $300 million mark. So the film critics in the US are just on an ego trip otherwise how can you criticize a movie that has and continues to attract so many people from every section of American society.
Sajid Khan, Boston, USA

Showing the final struggle in the life of Christ was an intriguing subject to me
Mike Scullion, Newcastle
I think the film was great. I'm a Catholic and showing the final struggle in the life of Christ was an intriguing subject to me. My friend, an atheist, watched it with me and was moved by the power of the film, not so much the spiritual aspect but from a historical point of view.
Mike Scullion, Newcastle

If anything the violence would have been worse in reality. In the Bible it says that Jesus was unrecognisable. Jim Caveziel was recognisable. I think people should be more open minded about the violence... if you don't want to see a film that is violent don't go and see a film that is about someone being crucified it's that simple.
James Nicolson, Manchester

It's a film of a book. What's all the fuss about? And as for profits going to charity¿Why? I say again, it's a film and films are there to make money. If you don't like it, don't see it.
Barry, West Sussex

I found it to be challenging, powerful as well as up-setting!
Danny Miller, Walsall, UK

After watching the movie I found it to be challenging, powerful as well as up-setting! I didn't find it ant-Semitic at all. I also recommend people to see it before they comment on it. It's a Mel Gibson masterpiece!
Danny Miller, Walsall, UK

Mel Gibson could have focussed on other parts of Jesus' life, toned down the violence and made a more touchy, feely movie like those around in the 60s. But unfortunately that isn't what our society wants to watch. He's made the film with the full horror and brutality that was seen regularly at the time of Jesus, knowing that it would pander to our modern bloodlust for ever more violent films, but it would then at least get seen by people, talked about and prompt a few thoughts. Very cleverly done Mr G!
Chris Ransom, Colchester, UK

I have not seen the film yet, but if depicts the crucifixion as graphically as the reviews suggest it is not true to the gospels. The gospel account of the crucifixion are notable for a flat, almost emotionless style, the writers did not want to place an emphasis on the violence of Jesus' death. The gospels show that the agonies of desertion, betrayal and separation from God equalled or surpassed the physical pain.
Owen, Portsmouth, England

Personally I'd rather watch 'The Life of Brian' or 'Dogma' again
Cath , Bucks, UK

I caught a free preview of the film and have to say it's a little dull in places, strays off the facts more then once, and there's a funny moment when the words 'He's not the Messiah' appear on the screen and I couldn't help but mentally add 'He's a very naughty boy'. As a film it's watchable, if a little over the top. Personally I'd rather watch 'The Life of Brian' or 'Dogma' again.
Cath , Bucks, UK

Life of Brian was much more realistic.
Colin Heyes, UK in Germany

If this film is anti-Semitic for saying Christ died at the behest of ancient Israelites, why would it not be anti-Italian for saying he died at the hands of ancient Romans?
Jake Hadlee, UK

Yes I have seen it. It has confirmed & re-affirmed my view that organised religion is the greatest threat to mankind today.
Roger Morgan Freedlan, Whitwick, England

Can't wait to see it!
Simon Jones, UK

I am not religious. However I am in awe of a man that is willing to forgive his enemies despite what has happened to him. Ryan, that is what Christ wanted us to learn.
Ameera , Detroit Michigan USA

The Romans spoke ancient Greek not LATIN!
Becca, UK

The movie was absolutely stunning
Hameeda Alshabib, Bahrain

The movie was absolutely stunning. Although full of violence, I don't quite agree with comments saying it's anti-Semitic. Mel Gibson only conveyed what is actually in the bible. It is important that we, and even future generations, read, comprehend and even research into history. Despite the fact that I am not Christian, I think the movie was great. I did however read the bible, and I do believe in Jesus.
Hameeda Alshabib, Bahrain

If some people think the film is anti-Semitic then so must be the New Testament, which is what Mel Gibson has based the film on.
Dai Cornelius, London, England

If this film is supposed to depict Christ's suffering for the sins of the whole world, surely it isn't violent enough? There were plenty of inaccuracies though. King Herod was dead at the time, Pontius Pilot is shown to be "nice" when he wasn't, and the miracle of the Veronica is somewhat diminished (a headscarf is used instead of a handkerchief).
Tom, Yor, UK

Harrowing, brutal and yet inspiring. Strips away the sanitised versions of Easter and presents it as it was, according to the Bible and historical record. See how great God's love is for the world!
Martin Ceaser, Mitcham, England

I think Mel Gibson has produced an objective representation of this sequence of events that took place 2000 years ago
Jason Fitzpatrick, Brighton
Enjoyed is probably not the right word to describe how I felt about watching a portrayal of someone's pain, anguish and torment, but I am glad that I saw this movie and I did like it. I don't agree with the anti-Semitic criticism that the film has received, I think Mel Gibson has produced an objective representation of this sequence of events that took place 2000 years ago. Equally I don't agree with the way in which the Church has taken this film. I think the danger is that Christians will see this film as the Truth and not a rendition (however objective) of what happened to Jesus.
Jason Fitzpatrick, Brighton

I came away from the screening, not as many people have commented, feeling uplifted as well as shocked, but with a huge sense of relief and satisfaction mixed with incredulity. Here was a film about someone who is no more real than Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins. As an atheist, I have never believed, but have always made a point of respecting other people's faith. Sitting through this work of fiction has served only to reinforce my own position. Whether I will be able to continue to respect others for believing in this fiction, I am not sure.
John, UK

To John, UK: It is pure arrogance that allows someone to say that Jesus did not exist, when all historians agree that he did. Furthermore, whether you believe that he is the Son of God is a personal choice but to call the story of Jesus Christ "fiction" is insulting and intolerant of an entire group's religious beliefs.
Paula, Aberdeen,

I saw the film in New York. It is offensively violent. I felt as if I had been assaulted. What a wasted opportunity to show the life of Christ and not just his betrayal and demise. What a distorted vision of the Prince of Peace!
Mary Gallagher, Galway, Ireland

I haven't seen the film yet but intend to, and hopefully with a friend who is not only a CofE priest but an expert in Aramaic and the actual historical time as well as the religious interpretation of the events of those times. People will always react badly to religious films.
A. Blake-Reed, Wiltshire, England

It was THE most difficult film to watch
Suzy, Sandy, England
I saw the Passion on pre-release in Cambridge. It was THE most difficult film to watch because I believe it does faithfully portray the Bible's account of what Jesus did. Everything that happened in the film I knew was coming up - because I read the book - but, never had I imagined it so horrible. It's easy to forget that the original cross was so bloody when today it is a fashion accessory. The film has shocked me into realising the seriousness of the sacrifice that God made when he sent his Son to die for my sins. Read the book definitely, but go and see this film!
Suzy, Sandy, England

This film is absolutely stunning; completely authentic dialogue. EVERYONE should see it, not just those who believe.
Mrs Jane Jarvis, Hayling Island, UK

I've just been to see one of the most pretentious films I've seen in my life. As a Catholic myself I was deeply insulted and disillusioned by the film's provocative and commercial nature. An artistic film would and should have used non-actors. An artistic film would and should have focused more on the spirituality of Christ and less on sado-masochism.
Antonino Sampieri, London, England

I have seen this movie, and thought it to be accurate to the scriptures. As for the violence, it's a crucifixion. It isn't pretty. If you want an idea of what Christ endured on the cross, this is it. The point was to portray Jesus Christ's passion. Although I would have liked to see more background and a more defined ending, Mel Gibson fulfilled his purpose, to show the passion, or suffering. I liked it as much as anyone could like a movie of this type. It is certainly worth one viewing.
Danny , BC, Canada

Making a movie about Jesus is wonderful, but why not make a movie that shows Jesus as a preacher, rather then a victim of brutality? The reason, is that Mr Gibson is well aware that such a movie would have nowhere near as much success.
Dr Matthew Berman, New York City

Will most of the profits be going to charity?
Calypso, Oxford, England
I have read the book so why do I now have to see the film, which is one person's interpretation of the events. I agree with the comments made about what would Jesus do. Will most of the profits be going to charity? I truly hope so.
Calypso, Oxford, England

Being a Catholic, I found the concept of the film very seductive so I went to see what all the fuss was about. However, after seeing it I was horrified and heartbroken. I found it very difficult to watch and cried a few times. Mr Gibson is lucky to have any support at all, especially from the Church. The anti-Semitism and historical inaccuracies are certainly there but they are not the only problem with the film. There isn't enough space to list them all here but the main problems are that it is very gratuitous, exploitative, excessive and perverse!
Paul, London, UK

Paul in London writes the following: "There isn't enough space to list them all here but the main problems are that it is very gratuitous, exploitative, excessive and perverse!" Paul, just what did you expect of a crucifixion?
Jim, Henderson, Tennessee

I'm looking forward to seeing this film. If nothing else it has got people talking about faith and what the life of Jesus means to Christians. As a Christian myself I hope I will watch it with an open mind. I hope this reminds a new generation of the sacrifice that He made and from what I have heard the harrowing torture scenes in the film drive this point home.
Kevin Rush, Glasgow

It is an incredibly impressive work
DW Roberts, London, UK
I have just returned from one of the first UK screenings of the film. I must say that it is an incredibly impressive work, clearly a particular interpretation of the scriptures but nonetheless of interest to those - such as myself - who are not of the Christian faith. It is a welcome change that an effort is made toward authenticity, with Aramaic and Latin used throughout. I would certainly recommend those with an inkling of interest to see this film. A word of warning, though: I am not of a sensitive disposition but violence is to the fore. However, it is not mindless or gratuitous and serves really as a vehicle for the moral content of the film. Congratulations, Mr Gibson.
DW Roberts, London, UK

It has been fascinating to read the comments thus far. I haven't seen the movie yet, and I was in two minds, but I think the balance of opinion above indicates I should. To those who complain about the cost of the movie, and the profits that Mel Gibson is making, as Jesus himself said, "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone". It is so easy to criticise others, but I think that Mel Gibson took a big step in faith in making this movie.
Sue, Switzerland

Should Mel Gibson truly be the devout Christian he says he is, then one would hope that after recouping his investment and drawing a respectable (not exorbitant) salary for himself and the rest of the crew, the remainder of the enormous profits would go to Christ-like charities. If such is not the case, then the impetus for this Hollywood project seems quite clear - money!
Cheryl, USA

I applaud his courage to remain true to his faith
Paula Phillips, Pensacola, FL, USA
Mel Gibson was brave for putting his beliefs first. He has received much criticism for it. I applaud his courage to remain true to his faith and see the project through.
Paula Phillips, Pensacola, FL, USA

The discussion and controversy shows that the intent of the movie has been fulfilled. One questions if a parallel movie could be made concerning one of the world's other major religions.
Charles, Versailles, KY, USA

Save your ticket money or better yet, give it to Amnesty International or Doctors Without Borders to help relieve real human suffering - that's what Jesus would do.
Jean Quinlan, Auburn, NY

The movie is a masterpiece, I went twice. Thank you Mel for your courage!
Betty Swanson, Moscow, USA

I am a Christian and I am not so much against the movie but the merchandise that they are selling along with it, things like nail necklaces, How tacky and sick!
Sarah, USA

Sarah, USA says: "I am a Christian and I am not so much against the movie but the merchandise that they are selling along with it, things like nail necklaces, How tacky and sick!" So I suppose wearing a replica of an object of torture like a crucifix is alright? Also, it seems that lots of Catholics (who have to state that they are Catholics) say that Gibson should have given his earnings to the poor. Perhaps Mel Gibson should retort that he will when the Vatican does!
Edward, UK

The Passion of the Christ was definitely graphic, but that was a means to an end. The reason for the bloodshed was for our sins. I do not find that the least bit depressing, but uplifting. The fact that God loved me enough to send his Son to die for my sins is a positive. As for all of the people taking pot shots at Mel Gibson for spending money on this film. He is using the talents and resources God gave him in order to try to strengthen others' faith. Faith and hope are more necessary to humans than even food and water in my opinion.
Aimee, Michigan, USA

Deserves to be seen by as many people as possible, regardless of religion
Alex, Richmond, VA, USA
This movie deserves to be seen by as many people as possible, regardless of religion. It does have moments of extreme violence, but it is not gratuitous as such. The movie is a pleasure to watch as it is well shot, the actors are incredible (especially considering they are speaking dead languages). All in all a complete pleasure, and not any more 'anti-Semitic' than the Bible itself. This movie totally makes up for The Patriot.
Alex, Richmond, VA, USA

The movie is simply magnificent and clearly inspirational. I intend to see it again.
Laura Brown, Portland, Oregon

I am no expert of Christian beliefs, but isn't the making of this film not blasphemy? Jesus did not die on the cross for Mel Gibson to profit.
Ian, England

My husband and I went to see the Passion of the Christ. It is an awesome and powerful movie and I urge all people to go and see it. I did not find it was anti-Semitic. Mel Gibson has done a wonderful and courageous job in portraying Jesus. I will never look at the Eucharist, Good Friday or Lent in the same way. Jesus died for me and I am healed by his wounds. Thank Jesus for your loving gift.
Dorothy Wilson, Canada

Christ's message runs a lot deeper than guilt
Anthony, NJ
I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic school as a kid. Jesus' suffering was always used by the nuns to make us feel guilty. "Jesus was tortured and died on the cross for you and you repay him by doing this...." I can't help but think that this is what Gibson is trying to do now. By showing Jesus' suffering in graphic detail, he's trying to make Christians feel guilty about abandoning the faith. I would argue that Christ's message runs a lot deeper than guilt. Plus, it is easy to make a film showing how Christ died. A film that accurately portrayed his life would have been more of a challenge to make and would have delivered a better message.
Anthony, NJ

Labelling the movie violent is not wrong. But viewers shouldn't believe cruelty was the only human characteristic Gibson portrayed in a stark light. Just as hard to watch and just as harshly shown was the arrogance and self-serving actions seen in the embodiment of the high priest's smirking faces. Decadence could be seen through Herod and the crowd scenes bled ignorance and a willingness to follow empty rhetoric with unquestioning blindness.

Claims of anti-Semitism reduce the movie to a story of one time and place. The story could just as easily be told today it could be filled with politicians wrapped in their own self-righteousness or catholic priests consoling themselves with stories of a greater good. Extras could be found from current day mobs chanting empty sound bites. The brilliance of the movie was in its comparing and contrasting the truth of man with the words of Jesus. There was a physical relief when removed from the brutal reality of mankind's many imperfections and placed in a setting of acknowledgment, acceptance, love and forgiveness. What a profound lesson.
Ellen, NJ, USA

Simply spectacular is how naive and taken people can be by something that supposedly happened 2,000 years ago when you come to realize that we can't even get the details and the true events of dissolution of Yugoslavia which happened only in the last decade. If history is so open to interpretation even with all the documentary aids we have today, how reliable is the history of Christ's life, and furthermore how reliable is the history of that part of the World which to this day creates a powerful conflict between three religions?
Thomas, Canada

My life will be forever changed
Victoria Cornes, Hammond, USA

The movie was phenomenal. My life will be forever changed after seeing this film. Too many people are focusing the negative and need to focus on what The Passion means to them as an individual. Mel Gibson is awesome and Jim Caviezel was breathtaking in his portrayal. I could feel the love and passion through him especially through his eyes. I loved it. I hope it awakens others in the same way.
Victoria Cornes, Hammond, USA

What is wrong with today's world? It looks like things are either categorized anti-Jew, or anti-Islam. Can't people from both sides overcome their historical burdens and move on? If some choose to see the movie, it is their right to do so. Let them enjoy it. If others oppose it, they can opt for another movie. Easy. I am Catholic, and I loved the movie. It simply shows that the Christ loves us.
Nawal, Beirut, Lebanon

After reading all of the comments on this page I concluded that one aspect was missing. The fact is that Jesus could have at any point ended his considerable suffering. As a man he only had to admit that he was wrong in his teaching. As the Messiah he only had to exercise his divine powers. Truly, his love for all of mankind was shown by the fact that he chose to do neither but to endure the suffering, humiliation death on a cross. The real message is this, he chose to endure the suffering out of love for us all.
D. Jordan, Baden, Austria

The gore in the film was a little too graphic
Adam Daniels, Bracknell, Berks, UK
I left the theatre feeling a little numb. I'm certainly not squeamish and I would consider myself an atheist, but the gore in the film was a little too graphic. It seems to be a large reminder to Christians worldwide that he really suffered before he died for your sins. I felt as if it was made to make Christians become more devoted to their religion. Aside from this the movie was brilliantly acted and the Aramaic really gave it that authentic touch.
Adam Daniels, Bracknell, Berks, UK

This movie is important because not only does it demonstrate the brutality of past and present but the tenets of compassion, in the form of Jesus' teachings, are demonstrated graphically. This is especially important for those who haven't deeply reflected on this concept. Regardless of your religious sway, this movie should generate compassion and, hopefully, the lesson that it should be projected into our daily lives, to everyone.
Dean, Philadelphia, USA

Powerful movie. Accolades to Mel Gibson for pursuing his dream of presenting this movie and also for not retreating from all the media hoopla!
Deborah Daly, West Seneca, NY US

I saw the film 24 hours ago and haven't stopped thinking about it since. It was profoundly moving while at the same time painful to watch. For those who cannot see that Christ's example of turning the other cheek was one of the most powerful statements of love one could make, then you'll most likely never "see". For those who don't understand why it doesn't focus more on his teachings, one should remember that the crucifixion brought all those teachings to fruition. Christ himself stated that his reason for coming was to die for our sins so that we might be reconnected to God.

As for it being wasted money that could have been focused on the "poor", I think that perhaps we might rethink our definition of poor. Many people in the world are giving and helping the poor of wealth, but how many are reaching the "poor of soul" in our materialistic American culture. We could well remember when Judas complained about the money spent on perfume to bath Christ's feet,! Jesus told the listeners that it was basically money well spent for its love and devotion. Perhaps we could call "The Passion of Christ", Mel Gibson's gift of love and devotion.
Leigh Ann Hood, Fairmont, WV

This is one of the most brilliant movies I have ever seen. The acting is incredible and the cinematography and soundtrack is breathtaking. Kudos to Mel Gibson for bringing the greatest story ever told to life for the entire world to see and understand.
Richard Volpe, Los Gatos USA

The most powerful movie I have ever seen. It painfully reveals how Jesus died for our sins. Let's not let it be in vain.
C. Moe, Vancouver, USA

A nasty little film, better off ignored.
Andy, UK

How scary when you think of a film as a religious weapon
Mary J, London
It is worrying how people get so wound up by a film - that is what it is, a film, entertainment, something you watch to pass the time. Whether you like it or not or whether you agree with the views it portrays is another matter. How scary when you think of a film as a religious weapon. We are in the 21st century - get over it, if your religious sensibilities are running so high, don't go to see it.
Mary J, London

As a Catholic, I've been bombarded with images of Christ's suffering since the age of six. I fully understand, without seeing the movie, that death by torture is very painful and that to willingly go through that for the sake of others is a huge sacrifice. If Gibson really wanted to spread Christ's true message, he would have made a movie that focused on concepts such as sharing, forgiveness, understanding and love. Religious conservatives, particularly in the US, seem to have all the gloom and doom memorised already. What they need is a refresher on Christ's message of love.
Jim , NJ, USA

Read the Gospels before you go to the movie, then judge for yourself. Don't let propaganda from politically active religious groups dominate public opinion.
Kate, UK

It reveals the truth, the crucifixion was violent. Jesus suffered, his mother Mary suffered, and his friends and followers felt his pain. I am glad I saw the film, but it is not a film I want to see again soon. When I attend mass this Good Friday and Easter, the meaning of the season will be more profound.
Mary, Wausau, WI

I was touched by the film
Andrew Fadoju, Worthing, UK
I saw the Passion of Christ yesterday amidst all the controversy surrounding the film. I was touched by the film especially its truthfulness to the biblical text. I did not find it in any way anti-Semitic, I thought the Romans came out looking worse.
Andrew Fadoju, Worthing, UK

Saw the movie this week. As the object of such violence, Jesus is one who loved and forgave. In the midst of so much violence and hatred today, we need his example more than ever. The best $25 million ever invested if we live that example!
Harvey, Oregon, USA

What percentage of the profits made by Gibson through this movie are going towards charity and social welfare??
Nitin, Bethesda, USA

I think Jay Leno put it best when he said "The movie is doing so well they're thinking about making it into a book". Don't forget that it is the Bible, not the movie that should be your basis for faith.
Tristan, Richmond, Va

This movie doesn't blame one person as every human played a part in his death
Ernie, Knightdale

This movie is a great movie. It makes you realize the pain Jesus went through to save you. This movie doesn't blame one person as every human played a part in his death. He paid for our sins. I would suggest everyone sees this movie.
Ernie, Knightdale, USA

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of needle than a rich man into heaven. Gibson has become an even richer man as a result of this film. Anybody who has made so much personal profit from telling the bible story is wrong in my book.
Adam Taylor, UK

You don't hear the Italians complaining that the Romans are portrayed as cruel!
Ray G, London, England

Mel Gibson's previous film, Braveheart, was also factually incorrect and highly contentious, but very successful because of all the publicity it consequently obtained. Mel's promotional people have hit on a 'good' money-making formula have they not.
Ann, London

At last Jesus Christ, Son of God is back centre stage - at least for a while. The hope is that the positive from the film outstrips the negative and that the effect continues doing good for people.
Bob, England

Leaving aside questions of historical or biblical accuracy, serious questions have to be asked about the wisdom of making and distributing a film that has the potential to inflame undesirable feelings, and hatred, amongst the less analytical and less well informed of its audience. Whatever one may think about the merits of portraying the final hours of Jesus, if there is a perceived risk that it might inflame relations between Christians and Jews isn't the movie best left unscreened - after all, surely forgiveness and peace between all men is the very essence of Christian belief.
Neil Mendoza, London UK

To Neil from London: I think you are proposing censorship in the name of those "less well informed?" So, we are to prevent the showing of a movie, TV show, novel, etc. for fear that the ignorant will interpret it as gospel (no pun intended). I guess we should regress instead or trying to educate? How politically correct are we becoming for fear of offending someone?
John , US

I've seen the Passion twice. I thought it was awesome. Everyone needs to see the love that Jesus had for us and what he went through so that we may have eternal life with him in heaven. Mel Gibson let God use him to make this film and it shows.
Carlos, Randolph, USA

His passion was love, and what he wanted to do for it
Shannon, British Columbia, Canada

The Passion of the Christ is what everyone is not hearing. This movie is not anti-Semitic. It is about the PASSION of Christ. His passion was love, and what he wanted to do for it. Accept him!! That is the message!! Not anti-Semitism.
Shannon, British Columbia, Canada

I think it's life changing. It has given me a new appreciation for Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross.
Francheska Boria, New Paltz, NY,USA

I didn't find the film the least bit anti-Semitic. I actually think the Italians were shown in a far worse light than the Jews. In fact, the only heroes in the film were Jewish. The man who helped Christ carry the cross, the apostles, Mary, and Christ himself were all Jewish. As for the violence, I didn't find The Passion of the Christ all that bloody or brutal. But that's probably as a result of the culture I've grown up in. (I am an 18year old American).
Wayne Breneman Jr, Brighton, MI, USA

I was amazed how the Jewish lobby in America were up in arms about a film only few had seen before general release. It seems nowadays no criticism can be directed at the Jewish community without quickly being labelled Anti-Semitic. I myself as a Muslim cannot wait to see this film detailing how Jesus (Hazrat Issa as known in the Quran) died according to Christian history.
Imran B, Blackburn, UK

Definitely the best movie I've ever seen. Really more of an experience than a movie. Whatever you do, don't miss it.
Millie Schmitt, Memphis, TN, USA

This movie is like a splash of cold water in the face
Rich, Denver, CO
While this film was brutal to watch it also had amazing cinematography and excellent acting. This movie is like a splash of cold water in the face to make people "wake up" and consider deeper issues.
Rich, Denver, CO

The need for a film of this stature is revealed by the large number of people coming into the theatre with jumbo boxes of popcorn and nachos. We have forgotten the sacrifice.
Carla Allen, Cave City, Kentucky, USA

I am an atheist, and always have been, but what I do know about Christ's message included not living in excess. Gibson, as a Christian, most definitely lives in excess, and the money spent on this movie could have been spent on feeding the hungry as Christ did. Isn't that what Jesus would do?
Simon Wigren, Fairbanks, AK, USA

Outstanding movie, got the chance to see it while visiting Florida this week.
Carlos Quintana, Havana, Cuba

Is the word of God no longer sufficient?
C. Den Haan, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The main problem I have with the positive comments and reviews is that people are behaving as though this were a documentary. Nothing could be further from the truth. Simply put, this is a movie made by a Hollywood schlockmeister/action hero. Indeed, Christ's suffering must have been intense and all good Christians should be aware of this. However, it wasn't in Dolby Digital Surround Sound, nor was it complimented by a merchandising campaign that included "nail-pendants' and coffee-mugs. Are people so bereft of imagination and compassion that they cannot visualise his suffering by reading the accounts in the Gospels? Is the word of God no longer sufficient?
C. Den Haan, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I saw this film on opening night and left the movie theatre really disgusted. My interest was peaked by all of the controversy but was greatly disappointed by this film. While the pain and suffering really emotionally moves and tugs on you, you do not gain any real historical insight on why Jesus is being persecuted and why Jesus continues along his course. There was no need for the brutality and grotesque violence that you are witnessing - not without any explanation of what would cause people to treat someone so violently.
Alejandra Marroquin, USA

My employer, who is a fundamentalist Christian, took us all to see the film on opening day. Being a Buddhist, and completely outside of the controversy of whether or not the film is anti-Semitic, I can say that I'm not sure who the film is meant to be angry at, but it is definitely angry. The simple fact is that if you are trying to show the peace that Christ was about, you need to show what he taught. Showing how he died merely shows that someone has to be at fault for it.
Nick, Nashville, TN USA

If it is taking so many dollars at the box office, how much of this will go to needy charities?
Matt Doswell, Glasgow, UK
Although the film isn't released here yet in the UK, just one question is raised in my head. If it is taking so many dollars at the box office, how much of this will go to needy charities, Christian or not? Surely that was Christ's passion?
Matt Doswell, Glasgow, UK

I have been a Christian for 47 years, know my Bible and have served in many Christian capacities. I just saw the movie and it is accurate to the Scriptures. Painful to watch but accurate.
Richard Smith, Bentonville, AR, USA

After seeing The Passion of the Christ yesterday, I was blown away. Never in my life had I ever seen a movie that affected me from beginning to end. As an open-minded, liberal Christian, it showed me what Jesus was all about and reminded me of why I have faith to begin with. Give Mel Gibson any Oscar he wants.
Jerome, San Francisco, CA, USA

For nearly two thousand years, the horror of the crucifixion has been sanitised to the point of becoming meaningless. Whether you like the film or not, the reality of what Jesus endured on the cross can no longer be overlooked.
Martha Cotton, Los Angeles, CA

Visually stunning and emotionally evocative
Leslie Alexander, Lafayette, USA
"The Passion of the Christ" is visually stunning and emotionally evocative. This film can have resonance with believers and non-believers alike because of the lyrical, sweeping cinematography and the magnificent musical score. This is high art... A triumph for Gibson and Caviezel. Oscar-worthy.
Leslie Alexander, Lafayette, USA

As a life-long Christian, I found The Passion of the Christ to be incredibly moving and Biblically accurate. As far as the violence, are we to think that a crucifixion would be pleasant? I believe Gibson wanted to show us exactly what Christ endured for us, so we can realise the true sacrifice He made.
Tim Hartman, Las Vegas, NV, USA

I will say this, I haven't thought about a single thing but The Passion since I saw it on Ash Wednesday. So he at least deserves credit for making a memorable film. But as a practicing Catholic, to me the movie represented everything I hate about my own religion. The message is look, look at what our God has to go through to save us dirty sinners. Without Jesus' message of universal love and brotherhood, which is paid scant lip-service, all we're left with is outrageous pain and suffering. I know Christ suffered and died. We all suffer and die. Can't my religion give me something else to focus on?
Paul Vigna, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Dear Paul Vigna, As one practicing Catholic to another. The Catholic Church did not give you the movie, Mel Gibson did. He is not the voice of the Catholic church. Try not to confuse the two.
Andrew, Harare Zimbabwe

Just think of the wonderful works that could have been done by Mel Gibson in the name of God - and in the true spirit of Christianity, which Jesus taught - if he had taken his $25 million and, instead of making a film about the last hours of Christ, had used his money to improve the plight of the homeless, the poor, the disadvantaged and the weak.
Winona Kent, Vancouver, Canada

Saw the movie yesterday. The movie was very graphic as far as violence is concerned but it was necessary as it was based on the last 12 hours of Jesus. I am neither a Christian nor a Jew but saw no anti-Semitism in the portrayal.
Ajanta Mishra, Ausin, TX, USA

A bloodbath with absolutely no substance
Heidi, Iowa, USA
I was disappointed and sickened. A bloodbath with absolutely no substance. The background story of Christ is barely shown and only given in flashbacks, so as a witness tool its value is minimal. Anti-Semitic? I am a Christian and I was offended by the portrayal of Caiphas and the other Jews as being malicious and evil.
Heidi, Iowa, USA

In response to Ryan T. Mahon, Washington, DC, the movie's depiction is gory because the act of crucifixion had to have been gory. Why sugar-coat the experience? Why not depict the event as it likely occurred in order to underscore the sacrifice? I credit Mr Gibson for his attempt at accuracy in this regard.
Angelo Morata, Chicago, IL, USA

Anti-Semitism isn't as much an issue as the violence in the movie, is it? It is so amazing and post-modern and just plain sad that such a huge portion of the movie was so gory, when Christ's life is about love and salvation. Christ would probably have to turn the other cheek if he saw this one.
Ryan T. Mahon, Washington, DC




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