Topic: World View
Jerry Lewis, not Mel Gibson
Let's see here. It seems the French won't soon see Mel Gibson's new movie, "The Passion of the Christ." They seem to think Mel's a bit strange. One of the French national newspapers, Lib?ration, described Gibson's faith as "a Shi'ite version of Christianity ... imbibed with blood and pain" which "reduces the message of Christ to his death by torture". According to Lib?ration the film legitimized anti-Semitism. "The cult of the martyr is a dangerous combustible in which fanatics burn. It can feed intolerances and religious wars."
See L'Evangile selon saint Mel Gibson
Malgr? sa violence, le film de l'acteur int?griste bat des records aux Etats-Unis.
Par Fabrice ROUSSELOT, vendredi 27 f?vrier 2004
Or Machine ? convertir pour ?vang?liques
Le film est une aubaine pour ces protestants tr?s pros?lytes en vogue aux Etats-Unis.
Par Pascal RICHE, vendredi 27 f?vrier 2004
And so far the director Luc Besson is the only significant figure in the French industry to express interest in getting the film screened.
No wonder true, patriotic Americans hate the French. Not only were we forced to rename those deep-fried, salted potato sticks, well now it seems they hate sweet Jesus and the devout and humble Mel Gibson.
Here's the scoop.
See French cinemas refuse to screen The Passion
By Kim Willsher in Paris, The Sunday Telegraph, February 29, 2004
In short, Gibson would call them moral cowards.
The Telegraph does note that debate over the film is highly sensitive in France, where a spate of fire-bombings of synagogues and Jewish schools and attacks on rabbis over the past year has led Israel to denounce it as the most anti-Semitic country in Europe.
And the Telegraph does note that there is a lot anger with Israel among France's large and growing Muslim population - might be that business with the big wall around the Palestinian folks - and this combined with the strength of Right-wing parties in some French districts has contributed to create "an atmosphere which has alarmed political and Jewish leaders."
No doubt. And yes, last year Paris police were forced to set up a dedicated unit to deal with anti-Semitic crimes.
So they'll watch Jerry Lewis but don't want two see Gibson's Jesus-splatter-film.
Well, France is, nominally, a Catholic country but the real problem may not be there.
After Hitler and the trains heading east to the ovens, well, they might be a bit sensitive, don't you think?
Then the oddest thing of all - against these Catholics who want the Gibson film distributed we find the Committee Representing Jewish Institutions in France. And they seem to think a previous Pope did just fine.
Yes, in 1965 the Second Vatican Council, during the papacy of Paul VI, the church decided that while some Jewish leaders and their followers had pressed for the death of Jesus, "still, what happened in his passion cannot be charged against all Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today."
So the populist back-to-the-traditional Catholics side with Gibson, who broke from the Catholic Church because of Vatican II, and the Jews of France are busy defending Pope Paul VI and what he was up to in the mid-sixties, being forgiving and inclusive and all those sorts of things - that stuff Gibson hates.
It's a strange world. Religion is nothing but trouble.