What the papers say: Gibson film whips up press passion

If the success of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ, which opened in the UK last week, is to be measured in either box office turnover, or by provoking headlines and debate, then the film must have its place among the cinematic greats.

US earnings in just one month have already reached $300m (£164m), not bad for ‘a subtitled indie film spoken entirely in dead languages, retelling a story that everyone already knows’ (The Times, 20 March). The Daily Star headlined its review with ‘The cash-in of the Christ’.

As an accurate portrayal of an historical and religious story, the film courts controversy: allegations of poor portrayal of the Jews and ‘bad theology’ (Jewish Chronicle editor Ned Temko, quoted at www.bbc.co.uk, 25 March).

But according to Jesus actor Jim Caviezel, Gibson ‘didn’t want any passive

onlookers’ (The Sun, 23 March).

This is the director’s cut, the sum of Gibson’s cathartic rediscovery of his faith. ‘It is his agenda, his interpretation, it is the Gospel according to Mel Gibson’ (John Harvey, Anglican vicar, Liverpool Daily Post, 25 March).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

www.echoresearch.com

www.newsnow.co.uk

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