New documentary revisits the uproar over 'The Passion of The Christ'

‘The Passion of the Christ: The Controversy’ on Fox Nation

Narrated by Bill Hemmer, take a deep dive into the controversy surrounding the 2004 Mel Gibson film.

“The Passion of the Christ,” Mel Gibson’s 2004 film interpretation of Jesus’ final hours before his crucifixion, caused widespread controversy among critics and audiences alike upon its release. 

Now, Fox Nation revists the furor and examines the film’s lasting impact in “The Passion of the Christ: The Controversy,” available to stream now. 

Narrated by “America’s Newsroom” co-host Bill Hemmer, this short documentary directed by Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein recounts the film’s reception and the criticism leveled at it by the media and religious organizations. It also features commentary from authors, professors, and other scholars.

“This is a time in which Hollywood had long concluded that there were not big profits to be made making religious movies,” New York Times best selling author Ellis Henican says.

The biblical drama grossed more than $611 million at the worldwide box office after being made on a modest $30 million budget, becoming one of the most profitable R-rated films in cinematic history.

“I don’t know anyone who could sit through that and not feel some emotion, whether they cried or squirmed in their seats or just chose to turn away because it was very graphic,” one attendee of the film’s premiere recounts.

Lead actor Jim Caviezel, who fell ill and was struck by lightning while on set, described “The Passion of the Christ” as an “artistic work” that affected anyone who saw it, regardless of thier faith.

“I believe this film is going to be great for all Jews, all Muslims, anyone in America or the world. This is not just a religious film,” Cavaziel told reporters ahead of the film’s release. “If we do the story right, then we should have controversy.”

Some critics said the film was too violent and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops warned audiences and parents warned that it was for adults only.

“Children are not sophisticated enough, either morally or religiously, to make sense of the brutal images they’ll see,” warned Dr. Kyle Pruett, director of medical studies at the Yale Child Study Center at the time.  “I don’t think any child under 13 should see this movie.”

Henican remembered the move as one that will live on as a divisive religious interpretation for generations to come.

“Mel Gibson’s version [of The Passion]  is darker, is more violent and a little disturbing,” Henican said. “Will it provide spiritual uplift or will it provide emotional exhaustion?”

To watch ‘The Passion of the Christ: The Controversy’, visit Fox Nation and sign up today

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