Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mel Gibson: My Passion

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mel Gibson: My Passion

Article excerpt

THE Passion of the Christ has been dubbed the most controversial film ever released.

Paid for with Mel Gibson's own money, the film, which will be released in London next month, tells the story of Christ's last 12 hours and blames the Jewish elders for his violent death. But what made him want to make a film which, critics are warning, could destroy his career? Here, in an exclusive interview Mel Gibson gave in America this week, he reveals for the first time how the escalating row has affected him ...

On the reason he made the film

I think that the last 12 hours of Christ's life is the most intense part of the gospel. It's the central point of what Christians believe. It is our belief that by the sin of the first people, original sin, the gates of eternal life were closed to us, and that his sacrifice as a redeemer of all mankind was to open the gates to all of us again.

He was beaten for our iniquities. He was wounded for our transgressions.

And by his wounds we are healed.

That's the point of the film. It's not about pointing the finger, it's not about playing the blame game. It's about faith, hope, love and forgiveness.

I wanted the film to be shocking. And I also wanted it to be extreme. I wanted it to push the viewer over the edge. So that they see the enormity of that sacrifice.

To see that someone could endure that and still come back with love and forgiveness. Even through extreme pain and suffering and ridicule. It's very violent.

And if you don't like it, don't go.

On fears the film will incite anti-Semitism

I don't think you can say that the film is anti-Semitic. I mean, I watched Schindler's List and, you know, what the Germans do in that is horrible. But I don't hate Germans or want to hurt them for it. I mean, if you go by that rationale, any story where one group of people does something to another group of people, should leave you feeling hatred.

Jesus was born in Judea, into the house of David. …

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