Story by: Jack Foley
AFTER months of speculation and internet hype, Mel Gibson's film,
The Passion of the Christ, is to be released in America, on a
colossal 2,000 screens.
The controversial movie is to be released independently on February
25, and, in a major coup for the project, will be seen on as many
screens as a major studio film.
The film has been dogged by controversy ever since Gibson announced
that he intended to make it in Latin and Aramaic, with no subtitles,
and then provoked a backlash from Jewish groups, who feared it
could spark anti-Semitism, by suggesting Jews were directly to
blame for Christ's death.
It even landed in trouble with Vatican officials, who were not
allowed to see it until Gibson was ready. But they now maintain
that the film sticks closely to Biblical texts, and Pope John
Paul, who watched the film in December (2003), apparently told
his Polish secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, that it
is as it was. The film chronicles the last 12 hours of Christs
life in unflinching, bloody detail.
The film will be distributed, jointly, by Icon Productions and
independent movie specialist Newmarket Films.