The Passion of the Christ

(USA, 2004, 125 minutes)

The last twelve hours of Jesus Christ’s life, from His capture by the Pharisees to His crucifixion. Stark but handsome passion play adapted directly from the Bible with as little embellishment as possible, replacing the usual hamminess of Hollywood religious pageants with a rather surprising insistence on realistic blood and guts; technical and artistic credits are generally very good. The film’s $25 million budget was entirely raised by Gibson himself, a devout Catholic for whom the project has been a labour of love, who insisted in doing it without any recognisable movie stars and with dialogue spoken in Aramaic and Latin subtitled into English. Its release was surrounded by controversy regarding its violent tone and strong accusations of anti-Semitism. That only fuelled a remarkable box-office take of $125 million in the first week on release alone in the US.

An Icon production. Starring Jim Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Claudia Gerini, Maia Morgenstern, Sergio Rubini. Directed by Mel Gibson; produced by Mel Gibson, Bruce Davey and Stephen McEveety; screenplay by Benedict Fitzgerald and Mel Gibson; music by John Debney; director of photography, Caleb Deschanel; production designer, Francesco Frigeri; costume designer, Maurizio Millenotti; film editor, John Wright; special make-up effects designed and created by Keith Vanderlaan.


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