Skip to comments.U.S. News Predicts Bloody Battle over Mel Gibson's Movie
Posted on 11/18/2003 12:07:35 PM PST by kattracks
U.S. News & World Report says the fight over Viacom's TV movie "The Reagans" will "look like crumbs on the table of the Last Supper when the coming fight over Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of Christ' hits full stride early next year."
Of course, as we've been reporting for months, the attacks on the movie have been nasty for some time.
The New York Post had five people review "a copy" of the movie and printed their comments Monday. Four - a priest, a rabbi, a professor and the paper's movie critic - called it everything from "appalling" to "unfair" to "deeply troubling."
"He had an opportunity to reflect on the long history of the theology of suffering, and he missed that opportunity by producing just a picture of brutality," complained Elizabeth Castelli, a professor of religion at Barnard College and "senior research scholar" at NYU's Center for Religion and Media.
She called the movie's portrayal of Jews "unfair" and based on "medieval stereotypes ... that have a history of inspiring violence against Jews."
The positive review came, notably, from a civilian. Joan Wilson, one of the Post's readers, said the "must-see movie" was "riveting."
"I always knew his was a painful death, but I didn't understand how human he was or realize he suffered that much," she said.
The depiction of Jews is fair, she said. "The Romans of that era were throwing people to lions."
Perhaps, then, this is a movie for regular people, not the ivory-tower elites.
Showtime's Thanksgiving Turkey
Speaking of "The Reagans," Showtime plans to air it without commercials on Nov. 30, rather than in 2004.
"We just thought it didn't make sense to prolong this and bring it on next year," said Robert Greenblatt, Showtime's entertainment president. "I'm just tired of people making judgments on this when they haven't seen it. Let them see it."
Michael Paranzino, who set up the Web site boycottcbs.com to fight the TV movie, originally scheduled to air on CBS, told the Associated Press, "I think that Showtime realized they have a turkey on their hands, and turkeys don't last much beyond Thanksgiving. I'm disappointed that they reversed their promise to take a fresh look and not air it until 2004."
He says that, like most people, he'll have better things to do that night. "I've never had Showtime because I never had a strong interest in watching 'Porky's Revenge' at 3:30 in the morning."
Far more truthful, too.
In fact, even if the stuff those against the movie said was true, it would still be a slight twisting of actual events and actions, rather than the approach taken by the Reagan producers, which was to make some stuff out of whole cloth and omit large portions of reality. It's "Whaddaya know, the Sanhedrin had a lot of Jews in it" vs. "Nancy, I'm the Anti-christ and I wish painful death on all those homos." Puhleaze!
BTW, one of the least-reported and most relevant facts in the REagan controversy is the fact (reported on Fox Media Watch) that CBS asked the production company to do a love story about the Reagans, a romance with politics as a backdrop. Instead they got
Bush is Reagan was Hitler. It could have been "The Hitlers" and the only difference would have been the male lead's hairstyle and the presence of a small mustache.
Nancy has way too much class.
No comment on Patti & Ron Jr.
Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list
This will be the first movie that I have ever bought.
If I have too, depending on how many theaters it is shown in, I will travel to see it if it's a 100 miles away..
Someone can be taught who Ronald Reagan is and what he said and did. But, if he then sees Reagan do and say things in a docudrama, the docudramas account will prevail. Thats because hes been a virtual witness of events.
The Left understands the power of film. They know Platos adage well, Those who tell the stories, control society. That is why the Communists were desperate to infiltrate Hollywood in the 1950s.
Coincidentally, Ronald Reagan testified as to that reality during the McCarthy senate hearings. Once Joe McCarthy was systematically discredited, the Leftists were free to peruse their agenda unimpeded. I credit the visceral medium of film in forwarding that agenda with half of the breakdown in American society that weve witnessed since 1960. (Actually, the Left gives it credit. I give it blame.)
The Left knows all too well the power of film to persuade. It has been their most powerful weapon. They cannot imagine that weapon now being used against them. They are terrified that if the general public is ever allowed to virtually witness the crucifixion of Christ, some people who never gave spiritual matters much thought will convert to Christianity. If the Passion of Christ is a financial success, there will be more films like it. It could even lead to film promoting patriotism. What then? That could set back the Leftist agenda by decades.
On the other hand, there are Jewish Rabbis decrying the violence in this film - saying that it will promote hate. First of all, there is nothing anti-Jewish about this film. Since it is historically accurate, it will be obvious to the objective viewer that Jesus was Jewish. His mother Mary was a Jew. His father Joseph was a Jew. The twelve apostles were Jews. Besides, the guys who commit the really brutal acts are Romans. Why arent Italians screaming foul? If the Rabbis were so concerned about preventing films that promote hate, theyd speak out a bit more about war movies that depict Germans in a negative light.
What did Jesus say while hanging on the cross? He didnt say, Tell Peter to round up the guys and get revenge on the people who did this to me. No, He looked up to heaven and said, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
In a nutshell, I believe the objections to this film can be found in a common denominator - the desperate fear that some of the people who see it will convert to Christianity.