Tonight I am watching Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. I did not go to the theaters when the movie came out in 2004. I bought the DVD in the $5 bin at Walmart many, many years ago but that DVD still sits on a shelf in my den unopened, with the cellophane wrapping still intact.
I remember speaking to the priest at my church shortly after the movie came out. He had taken his wife and son and daughter to see it. I remember he told me his teenage daughter cried in the car the whole way home from the movie and told her dad that she just had no idea what all Jesus had endured for her. She just could not stop crying.
The priest told me that in his opinion he thought it was a movie that everyone should see. EVERYONE. But then he also warned that it might not be a movie that people with a tendency towards depression should watch.
I had friends who went to see it and who told me afterwards that they had trouble sleeping for many nights because of the extreme graphic violence portrayed in the movie. Some told me that it was so profoundly disturbing that they wished they hadn’t seen it. Film critic Roger Ebert even said it was the most violent film he had ever seen. My husband watched it on TV one night and I left the room.
And then today, Good Friday, I happened to see the cellophane encased DVD sitting on the shelf. I decided it’s time. So I’m going to hit send on this post and I’m off to watch it.