New Concerns Over Gibson's Christ Film
New complaints have been lodged against Mel Gibson's controversial film about the final days of Jesus Christ, "The Passion," says the Hollywood Reporter.
On Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League of America (ADL) charged that, based on a study of an early version of the screenplay, the project could be "replete with objectionable elements that would promote anti-Semitism."
The ADL's stance bolsters last week's findings of an interfaith committee of scholars that has raised objections to the unreleased film, which reportedly does not have a distributor. (The Reporter sys that it has yet to be shown to one.)
The film contains no English, with dialogue delivered by actors in Latin and Aramaic, according to reports.
In its statement, the ADL contends that Gibson and his collaborators "must complement their artistic vision with sound scholarship, which includes knowledge of how the passion accounts have been used historically to disparage and attack Jews and Judaism. Absent such scholarly and theological understanding, productions such as 'The Passion' could likely falsify history and fuel the animus of those who hate Jews."
When questions about the film's content were raised last week, Gibson was forced to comment for the first time about his project, which stars James Caviezel as Christ. (A lengthy New York Times Magazine expose on the movie published in March had sparked no comment from Gibson but plenty of comment from religious groups.)
"To be certain, neither I nor my film are anti-Semitic," Gibson, 47, said last week in a prepared statement. "Nor do I hate anybody -- certainly not the Jews.
"Anti-Semitism is not only contrary to my personal beliefs, it is also contrary to the core message of my movie."
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