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Zeffirelli Brands Mel Gibson's Passion Anti-Semitic; Calls Director “Bloodthirsty”
Yahoo ^ | Thu Feb 26,12:12 PM ET | Godfrey Deeny

Posted on 02/26/2004 2:26:41 PM PST by mgist

Zeffirelli Brands Mel Gibson's Passion Anti-Semitic; Calls Director “Bloodthirsty”
 
Thu Feb 26,12:12 PM ET
   

Godfrey Deeny

Fashion Wire Daily February 26, 2004 - New York - Franco Zeffirelli, the last person before Mel Gibson (news) to direct a major feature film on the life of Christ and someone who has himself directed the actor as Hamlet, has lambasted Gibson's controversial film The Passion as anti-Semitic.

 

"They tell me that in America, despite the ban on minors, that mothers absolutely want their children to see the film, in order to understand the suffering Jesus underwent to save us,” Zeffirelli wrote in Thursday’s edition of Corriere della Sera, Milan’s leading daily newspaper, continuing, “I am of a completely different opinion: what conclusion can one reach (from the film), in particular young people, other than that his blood was shed because of the Jews?"

Zeffirelli, who directed Gibson in his 1991 version of Hamlet, adds that "once I knew that Gibson had decided to make a film on the Passion of Christ I began to get worried. I knew well that the family culture in which he was raised, dominated by a father who considers the Vatican (news - web sites) councils the tomb of Christianity, and suspected already that rather than the divine message of Christ, what pushed Mel into this difficult project was (an obsession) with strips of flesh, his own torments and blood."

The veteran Italian director also recounts his own curious experiences of working with Gibson, recalling one scene in Hamlet where Gibson intervened on the set when British actor Ian Holm (news), playing Polonius, acted out his character's death with his eyes closed.

Zeffirelli recalls Gibson saying: "A wounded animal about to die does not stay with a fixed look, but rolls its eyes in the final spasms, first together, then in the opposite direction, like a cross eyed person. It's almost funny."

"And how would you know?" responded Holm, according to Zeffirelli.

"I've seen plenty die,” replied Gibson, Zeffirelli claims. “When I can, to relax, I go to my farm and kill a lot of calves on the days when they are slaughtered."

The Italian director further stresses that, unlike Gibson's life of Christ, his own 1977 film "Jesus of Nazareth" was written by the famed English author Anthony Burgess with Suso Cecchi D'Amico taking into account the principles laid down by the Second Vatican Council, "To render justice to Jews and unburden them of the accusation of Diocide.” Zeffirelli finished his article with a question: “And now where have we gone back to?"


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: antisemitism; genius; jesus; jews; melgibson; melscrazy; moviereview; pope; popebenedict; popebenedictxvi; thepassion; vatican; zeffirelli

1 posted on 02/26/2004 2:26:41 PM PST by mgist
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To: mgist
I seem to recall some bad Jews in Zeferelli's "Jesus of Nazareth."

Herod the Great was a real creep as was Herod Agrippa. Also, the Sandhedrin not too great.

Anyone recall the same?

2 posted on 02/26/2004 2:32:21 PM PST by what's up
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To: mgist
Truth?

Of course Jews killed Jesus. But so did we all. And that is pretty clear in this movie.

3 posted on 02/26/2004 2:33:22 PM PST by petitfour
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To: mgist
The public verdict on this film can be seen in the box office receipts: $26.6 million for ONE DAY. The next highest film, something called "50 First Dates" barely took in $1 million. The Top Ten films yesterday took in $29.9 million; The Passion accounted for 90 percent of it! Source: www.boxofficemojo.com.
4 posted on 02/26/2004 2:35:01 PM PST by laconic
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To: what's up
Zeferelli's film was pure anti-semitism. Who can ever forget the enraged mobs streaming from movie theatres, burning cars, shooting dogs, chasing down Jews.....

It was horrid.

5 posted on 02/26/2004 2:35:14 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: what's up
All I know is that these reports are a case study of character assasinations by the left. One of the highest grossing films made, and this is what they have to say? Other than a few similar articles, the media has been strangely silent. Even the entertainment media. I've been watching and reading all day long. It's beyond bizarre.
6 posted on 02/26/2004 2:35:14 PM PST by mgist
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To: mgist
Gee, I've seen Jesus of Nazareth about 3 times. I thought the Jews petitioned Pilate to kill Jesus in that one too (Like the gospels and Passion). I could be wrong though.
7 posted on 02/26/2004 2:37:22 PM PST by bethelgrad (for God, country, and the Corps OOH RAH!)
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To: mgist
"I've seen plenty die,” replied Gibson, Zeffirelli claims. “When I can, to relax, I go to my farm and kill a lot of calves on the days when they are slaughtered."

An anti-Gibsonite accuses Gibsons of bovicide.

8 posted on 02/26/2004 2:39:00 PM PST by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
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To: mgist
The Italian director further stresses that, unlike Gibson's life of Christ, his own 1977 film "Jesus of Nazareth" was written by the famed English author Anthony Burgess with Suso Cecchi D'Amico taking into account the principles laid down by the Second Vatican Council, "To render justice to Jews and unburden them of the accusation of Diocide.” Zeffirelli finished his article with a question: “And now where have we gone back to?"

It is the height of arrogance for this man to assume the death of Jesus was solely about the Jews. And, it is ignorant to assume that anyone could take the life of Christ.

9 posted on 02/26/2004 2:40:24 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: mgist
"They tell me that in America,

This is where the problem begins.... Obviously he hasn't seen the movie.

10 posted on 02/26/2004 2:40:58 PM PST by Jaded (Personally, I think they should bring back flogging and burning at the stake. /so)
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To: bethelgrad
Isnt this the movie with the BLUE EYED Jesus?
11 posted on 02/26/2004 2:41:37 PM PST by alisasny (John Kerry is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.)
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To: Sloth
An anti-Gibsonite accuses Gibsons of bovicide.


It can't be true, Hillery! still lives!
12 posted on 02/26/2004 2:43:00 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: mgist
Does Zeffirelli like his movies reviewed by individuals who have not viewed them?
13 posted on 02/26/2004 2:45:08 PM PST by CaptainK
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To: anniegetyourgun
his own 1977 film "Jesus of Nazareth" was written by the famed English author Anthony Burgess

Who is chiefly known as the author of the book "Clockwork Orange" described best as... "Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven"

Violence? What violence? Do these people even think before they talk?

14 posted on 02/26/2004 2:47:52 PM PST by jscd3
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To: mgist
Has this guy seen the movie?
15 posted on 02/26/2004 2:54:35 PM PST by freekitty
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To: freekitty
Hey I was wondering the same thing. Criticize without even seeing it. Drives me nuts!
16 posted on 02/26/2004 3:00:59 PM PST by arichtaxpayer (We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.)
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To: mgist
Zeferelli is himself Jewish, so it is not as if he is dissinteresteed. He just happens to be wrong.
17 posted on 02/26/2004 3:12:07 PM PST by keithtoo (W '04 - I'll pass on the ketchup-boy.)
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To: mgist
Zeferelli is himself Jewish, so it is not as if he is dissinterested. He just happens to be wrong.
18 posted on 02/26/2004 3:12:15 PM PST by keithtoo (W '04 - I'll pass on the ketchup-boy.)
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To: alisasny
***Isnt this the movie with the BLUE EYED Jesus?***

Almost as funny as a blue eyed Geronomo played by Chuck Conners!
19 posted on 02/26/2004 3:12:51 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: mgist
"Zeffirelli recalls Gibson saying: "A wounded animal about to die does not stay with a fixed look, but rolls its eyes in the final spasms, first together, then in the opposite direction, like a cross eyed person. It's almost funny."

Wow... they are going after Mel Gibson with a fury.

Something really amazing and important and world-changing is happening here.....

God bless Mel Gibson for his commitment and devotion! I can't wait to see the movie.

20 posted on 02/26/2004 3:16:10 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: jscd3
"Who is chiefly known as the author of the book "Clockwork Orange" described best as... "Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven"

Violence? What violence? Do these people even think before they talk?"

LOL.. good catch!

21 posted on 02/26/2004 3:17:06 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: mgist
It will get worse. Every god-forsaken criminal on the planet will come out against this film and Mel Gibson.

You see, when Zefferili or anyone in Hollywood makes tons of bucks, they wallow in the lust and greed.

They usually only pick scripts based on the ability to make tons of money. We know where their values lie.


Mel Gibson, from all appearances, did not make this movie to get rich.
None of the FILM/TV/MEDIA are going to accept he was Inspired. They would accept one of 'their own' as being inspired, and have said so before. Mel Gibson has always been an outsider to them, because he is a real person, not a 'flash in the pan' like most of them are.

Ted Nugent - real.

George Bush - Real.

Mel Gibson - Real.

Clintons - hiding from God.
Kerry - Hiding from God.
Marylyn Manson - Hiding from God.

BTW, my girlfriend spray painted over a poster of Mr. Manson that was a promo for a concert here in town, and it cost me $1000 so far.

And I couldn't have spent the money in any better way.

22 posted on 02/26/2004 3:17:57 PM PST by UCANSEE2
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To: mgist
Other than a few similar articles, the media has been strangely silent. Even the entertainment media. I've been watching and reading all day long. It's beyond bizarre.

Hmmm, I am not sure what you mean. From the watching I have done, there are TONS of stories about this movie. Its a phenomenon.

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&scoring=d&edition=us&q=passion+of+the+christ&btnG=Search+News

Check that out. I have been reading stories on there all day. Its about 7000 strong.

23 posted on 02/26/2004 3:41:30 PM PST by PeoplesRep_of_LA (Treason doth never prosper, for if it does, none dare call it treason)
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To: what's up
The Herods were not Jewish ... they were out-of-towners, Edomites.

The Sanhedrin were Jewish.
24 posted on 02/26/2004 3:47:24 PM PST by Tax-chick (My house is a mess, but my baby is FAT!)
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To: Tax-chick
Right you are...thanks for the reminder.
25 posted on 02/26/2004 3:56:23 PM PST by what's up
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To: UCANSEE2
You could have smeared it with $hit and called it art!
26 posted on 02/26/2004 4:43:48 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: petitfour
There seem to be a lot of people who want to believe that Jews are the only people who have ever suffered, that only blacks were slaves, and that Hispanics are the only ones who ever worked at low-paying jobs.
27 posted on 02/26/2004 4:49:54 PM PST by afz400
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To: what's up
Herod the Great was a real creep as was Herod Agrippa. Also, the Sandhedrin not too great. Anyone recall the same?

There were lots of villianous Jewish characters in JESUS OF NAZARETH, including Ian Holm's Zerah, a Temple scribe that isn't even mentioned in Scripture.

I think Zefirelli is jealous that another cinematic version of the story will eclipse his as the most popular.

28 posted on 02/26/2004 5:07:11 PM PST by Clintons a commie
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To: mgist
COMMISH brands Zefferelli IRRELEVANT, Calls director IGNORANT!
29 posted on 02/26/2004 5:09:39 PM PST by commish (Freedom Tastes Sweetest to Those Who Have Fought to Preserve It)
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To: keithtoo
Zeferelli is himself Jewish, so it is not as if he is dissinteresteed

Actually, Zefirelli is Catholic. His autobiography was interesting reading; he returned to the Church after having a dream about St. Francis(which prompted him to make BROTHER SUN,SISTER MOON). Maybe he's going senile.

30 posted on 02/26/2004 5:10:09 PM PST by Clintons a commie
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To: alisasny
I have loved Zeferelli's Shakespearean movies, but I thought his Passion was very silly. His Jesus had psychedelic blue eyes and a spooky demeanor, and his Mary kept reminding me of Juliet. "Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord. But that's the nightingale, not the lark..."
31 posted on 02/26/2004 5:14:01 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle
LOL! I have to say though that Zeferelli's version was slightly more watchable (although creepy) than the 'Jesus' mini-series a few years ago staring 'Elton' from the movie "Clueless" as Jesus. Now THAT was disturbing! :o
32 posted on 02/26/2004 5:22:39 PM PST by BossLady
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To: mgist
Zeferelli?? I thought that was a brand of tires!?
33 posted on 02/26/2004 5:25:22 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: what's up
I seem to recall some bad Jews in Zeferelli's "Jesus of Nazareth."

Given that this director made Jesus of Nazareth and knows Mel Gibson professionally (and something about the family and how Mel was raised), his opinion is worth considering.

34 posted on 02/26/2004 5:26:45 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: jscd3
Apparently not.

BTW, that was a book I was required to read in public high school English classs in the 70's. (I still haven't forgiven that ugly, dope-smoking, long-haired hippy of a teacher for assigning that worthless book.) You see, this culture war has been going on for quite some time.

35 posted on 02/26/2004 5:28:45 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: af_vet_1981
I've seen several Mel Gibson interviews over the years. Each one had me shaking my head--thought the guy was plumb crazy. The interview with O'Reilly the other night was the first one where MG was actually coherent.

Since he's had a long and productive and successful career, and a good longterm marriage and what seem to be a lot of good kids, I have to think that he may just have some very bizarre affects, but is not actually bizarre.

36 posted on 02/26/2004 5:33:03 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: anniegetyourgun
BTW, that was a book I was required to read in public high school English classs in the 70's.

It wasn't required reading for me - I bought it after seeing the movie. I really fell in love with Rossini because of that film (all of the fight scenes were to the overture from La Gaza Ladra)

The last thing Burgess ever did was the screen play for a bizarre paleolithic film called In Search Of Fire. Featuring filfthy Neanderthals, canibalism, cave bear attacks, lots of sex with fat painted chicks, and four or so different invented prehistoric languages that made Aramaic and Latin sound downright friendly. It was a mess...

No wonder Zeffirelli is proud to have had him as the writer of the screen play...

On the other hand, I did rather like Jesus of Nazerath, as well as Romeo and Juliet - all of which reminds me how far we have slid in the last 30 years of this culture war.

37 posted on 02/26/2004 5:41:13 PM PST by jscd3
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To: Mamzelle
I've seen several Mel Gibson interviews over the years

I know what you mean. I actually think that he is nervous talking in front of a "live" audience

38 posted on 02/26/2004 5:44:27 PM PST by jscd3
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To: jscd3
He wasn't just nervous when I saw him on other interviews--he was like the aliens in "Signals." It's even been speculated that he does this on purpose to avoid being interviewed.

But you can't argue with a successful life. He's just not cut out to hold a conversation with earthlings.

39 posted on 02/26/2004 5:54:00 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: af_vet_1981
He doesn't claim to know the family personally...just the "family culture" whatever that means.

I'm just commenting on the fact that Zeferelli claims to want to "unburden the Jews of Deicide", yet depicts some Jews negatively in his own film.

40 posted on 02/26/2004 6:28:03 PM PST by what's up
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To: what's up
He doesn't claim to know the family personally...just the "family culture" whatever that means.

I would not be surprised if he had met the family given that Mel worked for him but he may not really know them well either. Does anyone here know them personally who is able to discuss it without betraying personal confidences ?

41 posted on 02/26/2004 6:30:05 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: Mamzelle
Since he's had a long and productive and successful career, and a good longterm marriage and what seem to be a lot of good kids, I have to think that he may just have some very bizarre affects, but is not actually bizarre.

I would not label it a good longterm marriage. I would label it a marriage that survived his sins. We don't need to go further than he did in the interview.

The point is he repented. He obtained help. That counts for something.

I want Mel to do well. I want him to be a good man, a good husband, a good father.

"I just didn't want to go on," he told Sawyer.

"Everyone's got something," he added. "I would get addicted to anything, anything at all. Okay? Doesn't matter what it is … drugs, booze, anything. You name it — coffee, cigarettes, anything. Alright? I'm just one of these guys who is like that. That's my flaw.

"I checked into a few places, and sorted myself out," Gibson said. "I didn't make a big noise about it. There's no point in doing that. You know? I mean, the real medal goes to my wife, who's a wonderful woman."

At his lowest, Gibson said he considered jumping out a window.

"I was looking down thinking, 'Man, this is just easier this way,' " he said. "You have to be mad, you have to be insane, to despair in that way. But that is the height of spiritual bankruptcy. There's nothing left."

The "spiritual bankruptcy" led him to reexamine Christianity, and ultimately to create The Passion of the Christ — "my vision … with God's help" of the final hours in the life of Jesus.

42 posted on 02/26/2004 6:39:59 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: what's up
Jesus of Nazareth is the best movie on Christ that I have ever seen.

Zeffereli's take on this is hypocritcal as he too, like Gibson, is true to the Gospels. Zeff's movie also shows Jews doing the same thing that Gibson's movie does. It shows mass crowds gleefully calling for Christ's life and sparing the zealot.

As a matter of fact Zeffereli's movie, since it is pretty exhaustive shows many more such examples of Jews plotting to get Jesus.

Me thinks Zeffereli sees his own move possibly in competition with Gibson for best Christ movie. If he is not being mercenary he must be a simple hypocrite.
43 posted on 02/27/2004 7:50:57 PM PST by rbmillerjr
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To: rbmillerjr
Yeah... what does Zefferelli know.

He's Just Catholic, a Great Movie Director who also made a movie about Christ...

and knows Gibson.

So why should his opinion count?
44 posted on 02/28/2004 1:51:51 PM PST by abu afak (http://www.israelforum.com/board/)
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