Sunday, February 29, 2004

The Passion

If there's one thing I hate more than pop culture, it's Christian pop culture. And if there's one thing I hate more than overblown drama and violence, it's drama and violence used to manipulate and produce emotions, especially emotions of a religious inclination. Even though most of the Christian community would buy stock in Gibson's new film if they could, I thought I discerned the faint smell of gory Christian pop culture and I didn't really want anything to do with it. Nevertheless, I somehow ended up in the theater Saturday morning and was definitely surprised. One thing the world needs little is another "The Passion of the Christ" movie review, so I'll try to keep it condensed. In a nutshell I was thoroughly enriched by the film, both on an artistic and spiritual level. Of course the film has its flaws, but overall I left with an (unexpected) heightened appreciation for the story of the Passion narrative. Details I've long overlooked, parallels I've never noticed, even (dare I use the word?) emotions I've lost - somehow the film, in its mature, responsible, and thoughtful telling of an old tired story, gave me a new appreciation for what I often approach frivolously and thoughtlessly. That is definitely a good thing.