Walking Away from the Passion

Lynn Hunt


What does the viewer walking away from “The Passion of the Christ” find to be the paramount interest of the director Mel Gibson?  While other directors have elaborated upon and sometimes enhanced the Gospels, they have avoided the stain of anti-Semitism. They have considered the source material, character development, and have used cinematography, editing, and set design to tell a wider and more nuanced story; Gibson seems to be primarily interested in how Jesus died and who killed him.   His interpretation of the Gospels differs from other films discussed markedly in that it tells only the story of the Passion, the events leading up to and the completion of the crucifixion.  It also has the distinction of being the only film about Jesus to receive an R rating solely for violence.