The Passion of the Christ

The Passion of the Christ is Mel Gibson’s long-awaited, highly-promoted film about the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus.

It is without doubt a masterpiece, but it is violent, graphic, and in my opinion, it belongs in the horror genre. Why? Because it is about chaos in one’s personal universe, the cosmos, and loss. Gibson uses all kinds of cinematic devises related to the genre as well. These are intense and at times shocking. The vicious violence of this film made it a very difficult watch for me.

There will be many opinions about this film; no one will be neutral. Please see it before getting into any heavy discussions. As a Rabbi on MSNBC’s Deborah Norville show said, let us use this film as a teachable moment so we can understand our faith traditions more in mutual respect.

I will be posting my essay at in a few days; my official review will be published in St. Anthony Messenger magazine for April ( )


  1. absolutely hated this movie – it was hollywood exploiting Christ for the money and sensationalism.  the violence was pornographic, and so over the top it numbed me and then bored me. it did nothing to further my faith or make me think any deeper into the suffering of Christ.  I left the theatre angry and disappointed.  Jesus Christ Superstar, and even the Last Temptation of Christ, did more to move me than this film could ever do.  Gibson didn't even think to let us get to care about the character before we were witness to the way unbelievable and over the top scourging…the only effective character was how Satan was portrayed.

    I hope in the end, it at least opened the door to some *good* movie making on this subject.

  2. wow sister – after i posted below, i went to read your review for the St. Anthony Messenger – I am amazed that we had similar views on this movie.  thank you for a honest and accurate review.  

    My three teens, my husband and myself went to see this movie the day it came out – as a family – and deliberately stayed away from all the controversy. we all left feeling very disillusioned and for me, angry and insulted as a Catholic.

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