There will be plenty of reviews on this film and many more theologians to explain in a spiritual message the significance of the film’s events so I won’t attempt either here. Instead let me cut through the hype and the hysteria surrounding the controversy. After being moved by the reality in the portrayal of a story told usually in print or sermon, I found this telling did not generate any anti-Semitic emotions. Of course it was the Jews who instigated the crucifixion. The entire story takes place in the ‘Promised Land’, a land area given by God to the Israelites. Jesus was a Jew so it is a Jewish story, or so it would seem. But as you look around today you find most of Jesus’ followers to either be of mixed Jewish heritage or non-Jewish completely. So how does someone who was killed in a brutal fashion some 2000 years ago, half a world away from today’s modern ‘Rome’, the empire of America, come to be regarded with such high esteem and honor by so many? Controversy then, as now.Coming on the heels of Confucius and before Muhammad by about the same time span, Jesus the Christ, set himself on the top rung by the claim, ‘Son of God’, and the ‘one’ sent through the bloodline of the Jews to redeem all mankind in God’s eyesight. That tagline and the anti-establishment behavior exhibited earlier and often bring the viewer to the last twelve hours of Jesus’ recorded life and the film’s opening. A future redeemer had long been spoken of in Hebrew sacred literature. The now known of references to that redeemer also being a sacrifice were more obscure, or maybe just hidden from view. As I said earlier, this is not a movie review as such, but I would like to say that Mel Gibson has made an important film that brings to life something that people still find just as controversial. He is to be commended for telling it, no, in showing us its entire physical and metaphysical splendor. This is NOT a movie for young children and is rated ‘R’ for graphic violence and brutality. 4.75 bowls due to two lines of Biblical dialogue omitted. “His blood be on our heads and the heads of our children”- out due to Jewish pressure and the Roman Centurion’s “Truly this man was the Son of God” said following the earthquake that ripped apart the tall curtain that separated the area the high priests called ‘the most holy’ from the area where the congregation gathered. Indeed, even at his moment of death Jesus gave the High Priest crowd one last raspberry to remember him by. Gnarly dude! - P. T. Rothschild