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THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
USA: Newmarket Film Group
UK: Icon Film Distribution
Cast: James Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Monica Bellucci, Mattia Sbragia, Hristo Naumov Shopov, Claudia Gerini, Luca Lionello, Sergio Rubini, Toni Bertorelli, Roberto Bestazzoni, Francesco Cabras, Giovanni Capalbo, Rosalinda Celentano, Emilio De Marchi, Francesco De Vito, Lello Giulivo, Abel Jafry, Hristo Jivkov, Jarreth Merz, Matt Patresi, Fabio Sartor, Roberto Visconti
Director: Mel Gibson
Language: Aramaic (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 126 mins
USA Rated: R for sequences of graphic violence
UK Certificate: 18 contains extended scenes of strong violence
USA Release Date: 25 February 2004
UK Release Date: 26 March 2004
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST is a film about the last twelve hours of Jesus of Nazareth's life. The film opens in the Garden of Olives (Gethsemane) where Jesus has gone to pray after the Last Supper. Jesus resists Satan's temptations. Betrayed by Judas Iscariot, Jesus is arrested and taken back to within the city walls of Jerusalem where the leaders of the Pharisees confront him with accusations of blasphemy and his trial results in a condemnation to death.
Jesus is brought before Pilate, the Roman Governor of Palestine, who listens to the accusations leveled at him by the Pharisees. Realizing he is confronting a political conflict, Pilate defers to King Herod in the matter. Herod returns Jesus to Pilate who gives the crowd a choice between Jesus and the criminal Barrabas. The crowd chooses to have Barrabas set free and to condemn Jesus.
Jesus is handed over to the Roman soldiers and flagellated. Unrecognizable now, he is brought back before Pilate, who presents him to the crowd as if to say "is this not enough?" It is not. Pilate washes his hands of the entire dilemma, ordering his men to do as the crowd wishes.
Jesus is presented with the cross and is ordered to carry it through the streets of Jerusalem all the way up to Golgotha. On Golgotha, Jesus is nailed to the cross and undergoes his last temptation - the fear that he has been abandoned by his Father. He overcomes his fear, looks at Mary, his Holy Mother, and makes the pronouncement which only she can fully understand, "it is accomplished." He then dies: "into Thy hands I commend my Spirit."
At the moment of his death, nature itself overturns.
The screenplay for THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST was adapted by director/producer Mel Gibson in collaboration with Benedict Fitzgerald (WISE BLOOD, IN COLD BLOOD, HEART OF DARKNESS, ZELDA) and depicts the last twelve hours of Christ's life on Earth. It was adapted from a composite account of The Passion assembled from the four Biblical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
All the characters in the film are heard speaking the languages they would actually have spoken at the time. This means Aramaic for the Jewish characters, including Christ and his disciples, and "street Latin" for the Romans. Greek, which was commonly spoken among the intellectuals of the period, was not quite as relevant to the story.
THE PASSION RECUT (new softer version extra details)
USA & UK: 118 mines
UK Certificate: 15 contains extended scenes of strong violence
USA Release Date: 11 March 2005
UK Release Date: 25 March 2005
Following the phenomenal success of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST across the world in 2004, director Mel Gibson has assembled a slightly 'softer' version of his film that he hopes will appeal to those who thought the intensity of the original film was prohibitive. "I hope to cater to those people that perhaps might not have seen the original because of its intensity or brutality", commented Mel Gibson.
THE PASSION RECUT is approximately 6 minutes shorter than the original.
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