VIOLENCE AND “THE PASSION” (PART TWO)

Catalyst June Issue 2004

Predictions that “The Passion of the Christ” would spur violence have finally come true. Dario D’Ambrosi, who played the burly, sadistic Roman soldier who took delight in whipping Jesus, has been cursed and spat upon in real life; his daughters have also been heckled at school. But Mattia Sbragia, who played the dictatorial high priest, Caiaphas, has not been victimized once.

      The moral seems to be this: movie goers are more likely to punish the Italians than the Jews after seeing the film. Not exactly what those who predicted violence had in mind.

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Written by Bill