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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2003


More on Gibson's Passion
The Wall Street Journal has a great article out on Gibson's surprising all-Latin-and-Aramaic movie about the trial and death of Christ. I continue to be encouraged:
Does it all work? Can the images convey the story? Will audiences endure dead languages they don't understand? And is the violence too much? Having seen a half-hour of the 90-minute film, I must say that it is as disturbing as it is comforting. It's like watching a documentary by Caravaggio. The images are so vivid, and the story so familiar, that language becomes almost incidental.

At moments Mr. Caviezel looks like a bloodied skeleton. Wearied and stumbling, with one eye swollen shut, he keeps a knowing dignity and strength. The violence, though intense, is never gratuitous, at least in the rough cut I saw. It rescues Christ from myth and grounds him in a reality that makes his actions more heroic.

Mercifully, Mr. Gibson has chosen to interrupt the brutality with artistic breathers: flashbacks to the Last Supper and to Christ's early life. At one point we see Christ fall under the weight of the cross through the eyes of his mother. For a moment we flash back to the child Jesus falling near his home as a concerned Mary rushes to console him. Now on the harsh streets of Jerusalem, she can do nothing but watch her boy suffer.

I'd personally take issue with the idea that somehow myth and grounded reality are utterly seperate, but that's just me (well, Lewis and Tolkien too). I'd also take issue with the term "heroic," that being a remarkably underwhelming word to describe God as man dying an incredibly painful death for the sins of those who are murdering Him. But those are minor quibbles, and the project itself still sounds encouraging.
Agree, disagree, have more information on the topic? Please, feel free to leave a comment. No profanity!

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