Saturday, February 28, 2004
see? the excitement is already dying down..
I wish people would relax a little about this damn movie. Like anything "big" in the news, it will be old news in 6 months or less. Life moves on and other issues come up and monopolize the news. People's overreactions have been fuelling the engine of this marketing beast, and are making the fever continue to burn on. Relax, it's just a movie. And to my fellow Jews: we have survived far worse. This movie is not the end of us. I'm sure many will think I am trivializing it, but the fact of the matter is, Israel has bigger issues to contend with right now. And guess what? Israelis aren't so much outraged as they are curious about the movie, unlike what the press would have you believe. Read the article here.

The fallout from my review hasn't been as bad I expected. Civax has shown some support (thank you sweetie. this is why I adore you), though I think JJ has taken exception to me as he has delinked me and not said a word to me on my site or his. In fact he had deleted a comment of mine on his site, something I had never done to him here. I could be reading his silence all wrong (please, correct me if I'm wrong, JJ) but I think the delinking says it all. Oh well, do what you feel you need to (though typing in "celestial blue" into Google all the time to visit me must be a bit annoying when just clicking the link was faster. LOL! you delink me but still come to visit? You're a strange lad, you are). Why have you forsaken me, JJ???? hahahaha.... :-P Nevermind, I know why you did.

Anyway! I've had time to ponder the movie a little more and had a bit more to add. Then hopefully I can follow my own advice and start to let it go.
One of the glaring problems with the movie is that it focuses almost soley on the sheer violence of what was done to Jesus. What I mean is, there is very little story other than that, and so it's hard for non Christians to understand what's going on; it's presumed that the audience understands what led up to Jesus being brought before the Romans. At one part during the movie, I turned to my friend and whispered that I had no idea what was going on. I was straining my brain to recall what facts I knew to help me piece the story together, since Mel Gibson didn't feel the need to tell a complete story. He wanted you to see the horrible atrocities committed against Jesus, and we did. But as with any good story, you first must have the audience invested in the main character. You want the audience to feel sympathy. And for those who aren't Christian, it's awfully hard to do when we don't know what wonderful things this man did before he was tortured and killed. For Jews, all we see is that some Jew was lynched by a bunch of other Jews and eventually led to his death. This doesn't sit too well with us when that's the entire storyline. You want us to appreciate the movie and the story, and understand why it needed to be told? Then try offering some background, more of the flashbacks, less of the whipping. We get that his death was brutal, but what about his life? What good does it do to focus on his death when some of us aren't even clear on what he did in life?

I think it's for this reason that people are upset with the violence. It's not that it's violent, so much as it's nearly non-stop violence. The storyline is weak, and in my mind, doesn't do much to promote the love as was intended. Had Mel shown more of the wonderful teachings and acts of Jesus, it would have made the violent parts much more poignant. Instead it showed a man tortured and killed for two hours, with random flashbacks including one in which we see Jesus building a table and chairs. Hunh??

So it's not that I had an issue with violence, but even Quentin Tarantino gives more of a storyline than this. Use blood if you feel it will serve the story, but make sure you HAVE a story in the movie somewhere. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. Feel free to read an article here, expressing similar thoughts. And in this article another good question is raised...why was the resurrection part so short in the movie? It's like Mel Gibson was deliberately avoiding any happy parts of the movie (or any chance for feelings of hope). Very odd. ( can make a serious point and show happy stuff at the same time, Mel. it won't ruin the impact!)
And as a last point... I think it's wrong to talk about banning the movie in Israel. I think if a Israeli wants to see what s/he is up against in the debate, it is up to them. Don't make that decision for any Jew, let them make that choice for themselves.
(also, a poll has been released showing that 1 in 4 Americans blame Jews for the death of Jesus. Yikes. And that was taken BEFORE the movie came out.)

But enough on that. This movie is getting far more attention than it deserves as it is.
Meanwhile, as life goes on, so does the insidiousness of antisemitism. Like it or not, it's problem that IS getting worse, and some Arabs don't even try to hide their dislike for Jews. Check out this latest news that Saudi Arabia has begun to issue tourist visas for the first time, but not to Jews or anyone who even has an Israeli stamp in their passports. No Jews, please! Well at least they flat out say they don't like beating around the bush there! Drat, there goes my trip to Saudi Arabia. You should really check out the article as it also outlines how women are to conduct themselves upon arrival. And when you're done reading it I want you to kiss the ground of your country and be grateful.

I think that about does it for me. I have to go to second job calls. Pfft! Who needs a day off, anyway??
I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend. Try and stay out of trouble.