Mark Sussman and Nathan Tafoya:
Atheist Jew and devout Christian
Sussman: So, most of you know what this whole "Jesus dies and then gets resurrected" thing is all about.
Tafoya: The movie begins 2,004 years ago in the Garden of Gethsemane, with Jesus asking His Father to remove his foreseen death from happening.
Sussman: But God, still in wrathful Old Testament mode, demures, and Jesus receives his first severe beating after Judas tips off some old, holy-looking Jews as to his whereabouts. The Jews want him dead, but the Romans aren't so sure. So they beat him some more. Like really, really beat him good. Then the Jews say, "Not good enough. Crucify that heathen."
Tafoya: Jesus was then wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him as He carried His cross up the hill. In the last scene, Jesus conquers death but still has holes in His hands. Mark said He was naked in this scene, but I didn't see any booty. Credits roll.
Totally deep article about way mind-blowing movie:
Sussman: Being that Jews and Christians are natural, sworn and violent enemies, our editors decided sending the two of us (me a Jew, Nathan a cross-hugger) to see "The Passion of the Christ." They thought it would be like a knife fight in a phone booth. Actually, we got along okay. Nathan held me tenderly as Jesus had the living shit beat out of him by the Romans, and let me cry on his sweater. Christians really are a giving people.
Tafoya: The truth of it is, Mark lounged in the prime seats while I was left alone to cry by myself as my Savior was crucified. I had plans to hug him and everything, but it didn't pan out. I still love you though, man. Your "enemies" stuff is a bunch of junk.
Sussman: Come on, Nathan. You know I was right there on your shoulder, sobbing like a little girl. You're just all sullen because my people offed your people's main guy. Now it's like we were never there together. Didn't that flick teach forgiveness? So we killed him. Forgive us.
Tafoya: Never held a grudge. Salvation through His death was for the Jew first, then the gentile, right? Do you think it was as anti-Semitic as it was played up to be?
Sussman: Oh, totally. In fact, it was so convincingly anti-Semitic that I went out and joined a local chapter of the Neo-Nazis. I mean, personal heritage be damned, "The Passion" made me realize that my people are as shifty, power-hungry, and cheap now as they were back in the day. Thanks, Mel. How do you think it was as far as being "historically accurate"?
Tafoya: I think it was "passionately accurate." It captured a lot of emotion foregone in other movies. I was grateful for the brutal portrayal. All that trickling blood on the side of the head in paintings was getting weak. There were some liberties taken with Satan and the little Satan baby.
Sussman: Kind of like those liberties you tried to take with me during the crucifixion scene, huh Nathan? Now I know what this trip to the movies was about: Nathan trying to get a piece. That's so disrespectful. But it was pretty brutal, especially the scene where Jesus elbow-drops Judas. Wicked.
Tafoya: Nice. I forgot the elbow-drop. At least Jesus wasn't blue-eyed and blond.
Sussman: But in all seriousness, this movie moved. It moved me right out of my seat and into the aisle, where I did a little dance when Jesus got up and walked out of the tomb. Boo-yah! Take that, sinners!
Tafoya: You danced like white crap. I think you saw the movie but didn't perceive. You heard, but didn't understand. Too bad you missed your Messiah. The movie was good.
And even though I missed the previews, I was touched. And despite Mark's claims, I'm not touched easily.