Clarification: Views of my review of PASSION

By Shlomoh
March 24, 2004

Shortly after reading my review of THE PASSION , one person communicated to me that she thought that my review was too objective and that I had bent over backwards to be fair to Mel Gibson. It occured to me that this did not describe the review that I wrote. I therefore contacted the people who also read the review and I asked them if they also got the same impression of it. Here are the replies of the folks who took the time to respond.

Date: Tue, Mar 16 2004
From: John D. Aynedjian
Subject: Clarification
To: "King Solomon" []

Well, King, I gotta say Rabbi Berk's review was the best I've ever read... ...perhaps you did try a bit too hard to "understand" or "excuse" while you were at the same time bringing out the good points and bad points.

Rabbi Berk instead cut right to the chase, told us what is good about the movie (suffering servant theme, etc.) and what is bad (choosing death over life, etc.)

But your review definitely shedded some light, too.

From: Adrian
To: "King Solomon" []
Subject: Clarification
Date: Wed, Mar 17 2004

Dear Shlo,

I thought it fair and balanced. It's like you didn't throw the baby out with the bath water, you acknowledged certain aspects - story telling aspects, but you were highly critical of its historicity - which was an accurate observation to make.

The Christians I've talked to see that it is a faith story and want to understand the underlying spiritual essence of the message of "Christ's suffering" rather than understand the historical actualities. And that's fine for them. Doesn't do much for me. One Christian friend felt that the emphasis on the suffering of the Christ was not just exclusive to Catholicism, but a big focus throughout Christianity.

It's all myth as far as I am concerned. I am far more interested in understanding the guy from a First Century Judaic perspective and placing him back in his time and place as a Torah loving Jew who may well have been a charismatic prophet and great healer who wanted to free his own people by a form of spiritual revolution from the oppressive yoke of their own half Arab ruler and the brutal Romans. I personally think Yeshu'a the Jew would have been devastated had he been able to read into the future all the atrocities carried out with the excuse of his name against his own people.

My God, My God why have you forsaken me? to quote from psalms - never a truer word spoken. Essentially I want to place Yeshu'a back in his own time and place beyond all the imaginative fiction that the likes of Paul and the Gospel writers developed around him. The guy deserves to be forgiven by his own people, instead he is ostracised by his own kin for the sins that people who by and large weren't even Jews, mythologised around his name. I guess that is where I am coming from ...

Kind regards,

From: Bernard
Date: Tue, Mar 16 2004
Subject: Clarification

I thought your review was scholarly and thoughtful -- not at all an endorsement of Mel G.

From: Pamela
Date: Tue, Mar 16 2004
Subject: Clarification


I think your review of THE PASSION was scholarly and well written.


From: Shelley
Date: Wed, Mar 17 2004
Subject: Clarification

I didn't see the movie -- but most people that did, with whom I've spoken -- thought less of it than you did.

You were being very generous in your review -- a lot more than others.

Most people thought it was an outrageous film and found it hard to believe that anyone would do matter what their "beliefs"are.

That was the general feeling from people who did see it. I think Mel Gibson should be boycotted by the movie industry. If ever there was a black list - this man should be one it!

You probably don't feel that way, due to freedom of speech, artistic freedoms, etc., etc. Maybe you are a better person than I - I'm furious that anyone could get away with this!

Yes, you were extremely objective - to the max.

Best regards,

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