MP attacks "anti-semetic" Passion
"The Passion of the Christ" has been branded "seriously damagingly anti-Semitic" by MP Gerald Kaufman.
13:59 16 March 2004
"The Passion of the Christ" has been branded "seriously damagingly anti-Semitic" by MP Gerald Kaufman, who chairs the House of Commons culture, media, and sport committee.
The UK release for Mel Gibson's epic is March 26th and it has taken $260 million (140 million) in the US already.
Kaufman's criticism comes after criticism from prominent Jewish figures and some members of the orthodox Catholic Church.
He told ITV: "What you are in for is sadism, gratuitous violence, ugliness, wallowing in blood and, it has to be said, crude anti-Semitism. That is what this movie is about."
"I am not accusing [Gibson] of being a deliberate and overt anti-Semite but there is no doubt that the message of the film is seriously damagingly anti-Semitic.
"If this is the film that Mel Gibson has always wanted to make then so much the worse for Mel Gibson."
The film centres on the last 12 hours of Christ's life - critics have said that the torment of Jesus' last hours before mounting the cross is entirely blamed on the Jewish community, absolving the Romans of all blame.