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Right at the end of this week's Newsweek, one encounters a fascinating little squib. Apparently, Mel Gibson, son of a Holocaust denier and director of a little movie that riled up synagogues all over the country. . .

. . . is interested in making a nonfiction TV movie about the Holocaust.


Whatever comes of this, it won't be boring. I have yet to see "The Passion," though by most accounts, you can't really tell if it's anti-Semitic because of the gallons of blood.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 16th, 2005 06:11 am (UTC)
I heard about this on NPR the other day. Apparently synagogues all over the country are already riled in anticipation.

I haven't seen "The Passion" either.
Dec. 16th, 2005 06:28 am (UTC)
If he actually does go ahead with the project, I might just have to borrow a TV to see it, just for the sheer dog-walking-on-its-hind-legs-ness of the idea.
Dec. 16th, 2005 01:22 pm (UTC)
I didn't see "The Passion" either. I'm not big on gore.

You have no TV? I thought my life in Ames was basic because I have no cable!
Dec. 16th, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC)
I'm not big on gore.

I'm sure Sinnarn and Tynd and Tuilinn and Galelas and Nithron and Todith et al are very happy to hear that. Personally, I don't mind gore, but I prefer it to serve some purpose other than "Lookit, we buy our stage blood in bulk at Bob and Mack's Discount Prop Shop!"

Indeed, I have no TV. And I walk a mile to school, through the snow, uphill (or what passes for "uphill" here) both ways. And I've been known to make bread with my bare hands. I have the Lord Jeffrey IMac, which plays DVDs, though.
Dec. 16th, 2005 03:16 pm (UTC)
I'm sure Sinnarn and Tynd and Tuilinn and Galelas and Nithron and Todith et al are very happy to hear that.

Dec. 16th, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC)
Who cares about logic when money is the target? I haven't seen the Passion, either and I don´t plan to see it... I believe I´d rather go to a corrida...at least the atmosphere is far more relaxed there...:-)
Dec. 16th, 2005 03:08 pm (UTC)
Of course. Cherchez le dollar and all that.

When I was in Spain, I saw a couple of corridas on TV, but most of the people I was with preferred soccer, for much the same reasons as you describe. I can't decide whether or not I'd want to see one live.
Dec. 16th, 2005 04:26 pm (UTC)
I just attended once, and it was in Peru, many years ago! I must admit tht the atmosphere is quite entertaining, but I spent most of the time looking at the people, rather than at the arena. It seems terribly cruel to me...
Dec. 16th, 2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
I never saw 'Passion' either - too gorey in its original release, but I avoided the toned down version as there is something too irreverent about the Son of God being made into a big screen movie for me, but thats my opinion and one which certainly many other Christians don't hold.

I have heard many rabbis and a number of my own Jewish friends say that it is not antisemitic. Nor should it be.. Jesus and nearly all of his followers those first hundered+ years were Jewish.

I won't condemn Gibson though... at least from interviews, he didn't make Passion for the money, and I like to avoid blaming the sins of the father on the son unless there is proof they should be. That also is illogical.
Dec. 16th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
I only know a few people who went to see it. Of the subset who were Jewish, no one really said that they thought it was anti-Semitic. Dull, perhaps, but not anti-Semitic.

It's not a story that should be anti-Semitic, but I can understand why so many rabbis were worried about it -- that's the story that has been used to justify the blood libel, which crops up in surprising places well into the modern era. There was even one minor incident in the United States.

I have to say, I am rather interested in what Gibson might make of the Holocaust. He's had very little to say one way or the other about his father's opinions, and this movie might well be that response. I await it with a certain amount of interest.
Dec. 16th, 2005 07:19 pm (UTC)
This movie would interest me too... from what I read (which is limited) it is a story of a Jewish woman (or family) hid by Dutch Christians. The Holocaust Museum in Israel has an area dedicated to the Righteous Gentiles that fascinated me, I think not the least since I have long hoped I would have been so brave as to be part of the resistance. I have a snapshot of a plaque with Martin Niemoller's (a German pastor) words I hope never to forget. I have been to four Holocaust Museums... the maximum impact for me, by far and away, was the one in Israel.
Dec. 16th, 2005 11:16 pm (UTC)
Just curious -- this is related to a potential ethnography that I think about doing "someday," in that vague way that means "in the far-off utopian future when I've finished my dissertation." Do you remember the first time you heard about the Holocaust? How did you learn about it?
Dec. 17th, 2005 12:07 am (UTC)
Not sure I can tell you when I first learned of it... gradeschool, I suppose. It was in all of our history classes. I took an advanced European History class in high school that covered WWII in depth.

I learned through all of that the need to really learn world history, as do have to understand what was happening in the world at that time. The world was very 'isolationist' - a lot of not our business, not our problem. Its impossible to understand the Holocaust without understanding immigration quotas, the Balfour Declaration, the British Mandate, the fall of the Ottoman Empire and WWI (of course)... and what the Arab world and Eastern Europe and Russia were up to. Not to mention Asia! America is fascinating in its isolationism... and how much we DID know but refused to see. And of course, we refused to allow Jews or others seeking asylum if the quota was already met.

The one thing we were not taught, with regards to Hitler anyway, was the other peoples he targeted, nor why he targeted any of them. We did not read Mein Kampf, for instance, and while I understand why, I think juniors and seniors are mature enough to understand it.

Which is way more than you asked.
Dec. 17th, 2005 04:23 am (UTC)
But it's very interesting stuff. At some point in the future, when I am wise and professorial, I might do an ethnography sort of thing comparing when and how Jews and Gentiles first learned about the Holocaust and what they were taught.
Dec. 16th, 2005 10:56 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Interesting. I hadn’t heard he was doing that. Along with everyone else, I haven’t seen “The Passion” either. Not so much because of the gore but because it wasn’t something I personally would watch in a cinema munching on popcorn. My grandmother, who hadn’t been to the cinema since “The Sound of Music,” went to it but I don’t think she thought much of it.

I sort of can and can’t understand people getting all riled up about these things, if you know what I mean. People do have very valid points that should be respected - but “nonfiction” and “movie” don’t really work together anyway so it always has to be taken with a pinch of salt. And the bigger the outcry, the more people who are going to watch it anyway. From what Nilmandra says of the storyline, it sounds really interesting to me.
Dec. 16th, 2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
One of my (Jewish) friends went to see it with a group of rabid Christian high school buddies. He said that, about halfway through, he got both bored and hungry and spent twenty minutes trying to reach into his backpack, extract a granola bar, unwrap it and eat it silently enough so as not to disturb his friends' rapt concentration. That was all the review of this movie I needed.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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