Passion Dollars

No “Christian” film is ever going to arouse such interest from the Christian community qua Christian community as The Passion of the Christ did, because no other event is even in the same category as the Passion. “We preach Christ, and Him crucified.” In a way different even from other films about Christ, people were able to attend that film as a kind of act of worship. I’ve had more than one person tell me that they found themselves contemplating their own sins as they watched. I’ve heard converts testify that it was as a result of seeing that film that they gave their lives to Christ. The film was a kind of moving icon. It ain’t gonna happen again.


  1. Cubeland Mystic says

    Is this your opinion, or are you quoting someone?

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    Sad to say, it’s my own.

  3. Cubeland Mystic says

    Not following the linkage between the title and your commentary. However the commentary is very good. Attending the film as an act of worship and the film as a kind of moving icon are both excellent descriptions of the film.

    A relation, who is not Christian, saw it as a meditation on suffering and a mystical film. Her camp was typically against the film, but she got it in a big way.

    It is mystical space and the highest art. Since the film, going to communion is a kind of an exercise in self control. I try to keep my mind blank otherwise I start to tremble. The mind usually drifts to the scene where Our Lady kisses Christ’s feet, and that starts the trembling. I often imagine that I am in line behind her waiting for my turn to kiss his feet. During Lent I exercise less control over the thoughts, and allow myself to live the scene. Someday my turn will come to be up there on the cross.

    Sometimes, my mind drifts deeper, and I see my son as a grown man on the cross. How could she have endured such a thing? It’s beyond understanding. One just endures it with her. It makes me think of my grandparents who endured it twice with the deaths of two children. My own parents endured the scourging at the pillar when one of my siblings had childhood cancer but thankfully survived. I’ve become more of a Marian since the film. How could one not become a Marian?

  4. Matthew Lickona says

    The linkage between the title and the commentary? Ever since The Passion became a huge hit, there has been debate, within Hollywood and within the Christian community, about the existence of Passion dollars – that is, a huge pool of moviegoer money to be tapped through the making of films that appeal directly to a Christian sensibility. I don’t think it exists. I think the Passion was its own thing. For the rest, Christian America is content to get in line with everybody else when it comes to movies.

  5. Cubeland Mystic says

    “I don’t think it exists.”

    You are correct, it does not exist. It’s a myth.

    The Passion is a masterpiece. Mel does not need to make anymore films. He probably shouldn’t. He should join me in the desert as my novice, to live in exile. No bottles in the desert.

    Like you said it is a moving icon.

  6. AnotherCoward says

    I saw it for the first time this year (oddly enough) after Lent. I had kept away from it because part of me saw it as an act of sort of … I dunno … whoring out something special. Circumstances more or less led me to be present during its screening. What a work of art! I’m kinda mystified why folk I know didn’t make a bigger deal out of this movie than what they did.

    For some reason, the one scene that so clearly comes to my mind is Mary chasing Jesus on His way to crucifixion, and she stops short around the corner, fearful to see him in his agony and torture. The flash back of watching her little boy fall and hurt himself … sprinting towards him then and there in the moment … to care for him, to love him … that captures something for me. Something real I hadn’t thought about and meditated on.

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