The Passion of The Christ Released in UK Today

It is being called "the most controversial film of the century", The Passion of The Christ is now showing on screens in the UK. Since its release on 26th February in U.S. it has aroused controversy around the world.

The movie has been generally debated as violent and many have dubbed it "anti-Semitic". To add to the controversy two people, an American woman and a Brazilian Pastor, have died so far due to heart attacks whilst seeing the shocking scenes of Jesus' crucifixion. Also during the filming of The Passion, James Caviezel who plays the part of Jesus, was struck by lightning as he was preparing for a crucifixion scene. Miraculously he was completely unharmed by the extraordinary event.

Some UK religious leaders have also criticised the film for its excessive and almost intolerable violence. The film censors have given The Passion of the Christ an 18 certificate, which most people will probably feel justified.

Concerning the content of the film, Editor of Independent Catholic News Josephine Siedlecka commented, “The Resurrection, without which Christian faith means nothing, is depicted very briefly?"

When Jesus died, Matthew's Gospel (27:54) recorded: "When the centurion and those who were keeping watch over Jesus saw the earthquake and what took place they were terrified and said, "Truly this man was the Son of God'." Gibson, however has not included this in his film.

Overall, she describes the film as in “the most part faithful to the Gospels, very moving and thought-provoking? It can be used as a tool for evangelism."

Ned Temko,Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, agreed that the content of the film is quite similar. He said it is extraordinary that a Christian film is just about death, instead of going beyond to give a conclusion of hope.

Nevertheless, he says, “the film’s contextless and relentlessly violent version of Christ's death is expected to supplant the more subtle, more powerful and far more spiritual story that emerges from a careful, caring reading of the scriptures."

The contorversy continued today when a report from the U.S. stated that a Texan man was prompted by Mel Gibson's Passion film to confess he killed his girlfriend.

The film was Number 1 in the US box office for its opening three weeks, but its impact in the UK remains to be seen.