Catalyst January/February Issue 2005, Front Page
t will be a miracle of sorts if Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” gets an Oscar.
The Passion was one of 49 films deemed eligible for a foreign-language Golden Globe, but it came up short in December: it was not among the nominees voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Here is what William Donohue had to say about the snub: “Mel Gibson releases the most significant blockbuster movie of the year, but it’s not good enough to make the cut for a Golden Globe. That’s because his film promotes Christianity, and the Hollywood crowd will have none of it. The only movies they like to make about Christianity these days are ones that demean it.”
We couldn’t help but notice that one movie that did make the cut in the foreign-language category was “The Motorcycle Diaries,” a film that shamelessly lies about the notorious Cuban communist, Che Guevara. According to A.O. Scott of the New York Times, the film views Guevara “as a quasi-holy figure” who turns away “from the corruptions of the world toward a higher purpose.” This may explain why Jack Mathews of the New York Daily News says that director Walter Salles “comes close at times to posing Guevara as a Christ figure.”
In other words, because Mel gives us a faithful rendition of Christ’s Passion, he is shunned by the Hollywood elite for doing so. But a movie that whitewashes a ruthless tyrant gets the nod.