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This is both more and less than a movie In one sense it is less a movie than the heartfelt prayer of a gifted film-maker In another it is a narrow and harrowing perspective on a story that no matter what your faith is bigger than any attempt to portray on film Mel Gibson has made this movie to convey his view of the last hours of the life of Jesus It is not history and not drama though it has elements of both It is not a full retelling of the Gospels or of the life of Jesus It is a personal and spiritual statement about the view that the suffering Jesus endured in the last hours of his life demonstrated his divinity and his sacrifice in taking on the sins of the world According to the films website the use of the word passion is taken from the Latin for suffering but is also used to mean a profound and transcendent love The theme of the movie is Jesus statement You are my friends and the greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them I give this movie a B because I have to assign a grade But truly there is no way to rate this movie as one would the usual multiplex fodder or quirky indie Without being a theologian or an historian all I can do is respond as a movie critic and urge those who want to see it to use it as an opportunity to consider their own faith and the way that reactions to the film highlight our global struggle for peace and understanding As a movie it has great strengths It is a respectful and reverent treatment of a story that has probably been more influential than any other in the history of the world It has moments of great power It
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