by Jonathan Hanie

Empress Books
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Spring 2005

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I really enjoyed The “Passion of the Christ”, although I'll admit to really not being a religious person. Recently I read the Bible from cover to cover. Yes, I read from: "In the beginning” all the way to “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen!" Parts of it I liked, parts of it I didn't.

As I saw it, the story of Jesus from the New Testament in the Bible is the most famous. Being unlearned in biblical studies, I didn’t know what to expect from the first few books of the New Testament. I was surprised when I realized that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John essentially told the same story about Jesus, perhaps each having a slightly different point of view. I was also surprised how much I liked these Gospels.

HOPE: A scene from "The Passion of the Christ." (© 2003 Icon Distribution Inc. All Rights Reserved//Poster © 2004 The Time Factory)

Mel Gibson, whom I discovered to be a devout Catholic and a Bible enthusiast, must have also liked these accounts of Jesus Christ’s birth, life, destiny and resurrection. In short, he has created a modern epic masterpiece. “Braveheart” was just a warm up in comparison.... This seems to be the movie that Mel Gibson was born to make.

Funding the project and co-writing the screenplay himself, his dedication was such that he wanted to make the film whether or not it would ever become a commercial success.

Gibson’s original intention was to film and present the account in Aramaic and old Roman Latin only, with no subtitles whatsoever. Fortunately he decided that the general audience of non-scholars which didn’t have common knowledge of nearly extinct languages needed them.

Jesus, excellently portrayed by Jim Caviezel, faces his last twelve hours of life. (Flashbacks are used effectively to relate earlier parts of his life, such as the Sermon on the Mount and his relationships with his mother and disciples.) The movie details his betrayal by Judas, torture at the hands of sadistic Roman guards, and finally, his crucifixion. All of this is, more or less, shown in gory detail....The movie, now in re-release for Easter, was edited to make it less violent, yet without detracting from the biblical accounts.

LOVE: A scene from "The Passion of the Christ." (© 2003 Icon Distribution Inc. All Rights Reserved//Poster © 2004 The Time Factory)

Bio: Born and raised in Albany, Georgia, Jonathan "Kibo" Hanie graduated from high school in 1989. He has since attended Valencia Community College in Orlando, and Nova University where he earned a Bachelor's in Education, and the University of Central Florida where he obtained a Master's Degree in Educational Media. Single, Hanie has lived in Orlando for the past fourteen years. His hobbies include film, travelling, reading books, cats, Falco, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and recycling.

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