The Passion of the Christ: A Cursed Film
The Passion of the Christ is a film directed by Mel Gibson about the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life, released in 2004. This film goes as far as to cover Jesus’ resurrection, which makes for an interesting account of the life of perhaps the most popular biblical idol in history. Another feature of this movie that makes it even more appealing would be that it was filmed in the ancient languages of Latin and Aramaic, with English subtitles.
Most actors understand the dangers in taking on roles that require scenes with excessive violence or dangerous stunts, but in The Passion of the Christ, many of these scenes quickly got out of hand. Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus, was victim to various accidents while filming for this movie.
A few of the accidents that occurred include Caviezel suffering from hypothermia while shooting in the winter, as well as pneumonia, a dislocated shoulder, and accidentally being thrashed during a whipping scene. Although these mishaps appear brutal, one accident involving Caviezel and assistant director Jan Michelini was so unexpected that it was actually considered a sign from God. Both Caviezel and Michelini were struck by lightning during the filming of the scene of the Sermon on the Mound. Luckily, neither Michelini or Caviezel were injured, although this was the second time that Michelini had been struck.
Because this is a movie of strong religious conviction, there are many people in opposition to this film, as well as those who enjoy it. The Passion of the Christ is a very controversial movie due to its high level of violence and graphic scenes, which according to some, even go as far as to insinuate that the death of Jesus was caused by Jews. Some critics believe that the brutality of this film takes away from the main message, which to many, is a story of redemption. This causes greater problems, considering much of this film is said to have been derived from actual bible material, including writings of the New Testament, such as Mark, Luke, John, and Matthew. Because this movie contains highly religious content, if certain scenes were exaggerated to fit Hollywood’s habit of stretching the truth for entertainment, then many people might have been offended upon the release of this film.
Other situations that add to the rumor of this film being cursed would be that since the release of this film, both Mel Gibson and Jim Caviezel have suffered from major career blows.
Although the filming of this movie did not cause any deaths, this story makes it into my blog because of its strong impact on the surrounding religious community. If anything has been learned from this film, it is that motion pictures of severe controversial religious material will always receive varied feedback, which might deter some directors from tackling this topic.