The Passion of the Christ

The first one on the web
The title of the latest movie by Mel Gibson is "The Passion of the Christ", and it tells the story of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem.
It's based upon the four Gospels and the diaries of Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) as collected in the book, "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ". Production started on November 4th in Matera and Craco (Southern Italy), then the set moved to CINECITTA' (Rome) for the interior shots.
Mel Gibson chose to shoot in November because of the particular color of the light in this month on the soft stones of the ancient part of Matera.  The landscape surrounding Matera looks very similar to the one surrounding Jerusalem.
Moreover, the Sassi, the ancient part of MATERA (NEW pictures) abandoned 50 years ago, still looks like a city of 2000 years ago. They finished shooting in February, in Rome.
All the movie is shot in Latin and Aramaic, and in the U.S. there will be the aid of subtitles. Mel Gibson is the director, Jesus is played by James Caviezel. The Production is by ICON, owned by Mel Gibson, the distribution by NewMarket Film.
In the crucifixion scene, the hands putting the nails on Jesus hands and holding the hammer are Mel Gibson's hands.
Almost one thousand extras took part in the movie: Roman Soldiers, Judaeans and Disciples.
Gibson's aim was to shoot everything exactly as it was 2000 years ago.
The movie is at the theaters since February 25th 2004.

Matera, the crucifixion. The cross is on the edge of the canyon. On the background, a part of the Sassi.
In an interview in the New York Daily News, Gibson said about the town of Matera: "Certain sections of the city are 2,000 years old, and the architecture, the blocks of stone, the surrounding areas and rocky terrain added a vista and backdrop that we [used] to create the backdrops for our lavish sets of Jerusalem. We relied heavily on the look that was there. In fact, the first time I saw it, I just went crazy, because it was so perfect."

Some scenes of the movie.
Important: even if we are very careful about our sources, we remind you that we took this information from unofficial sources.
As we told you, all the actors speak Aramaic or Latin, and maybe there won't be subtitles.
The first scene shot (it doesn't mean surely it will be the first in the movie)  is the hanging of Judas. When Judas hangs, many children run around him, symbolic of the evil thoughts of Judas.
In the countryside, in a national natural park close to Matera, in a cottage, they built the set from Jesus' childhood: father's shop and his small house.
Indeed, even if the movie is about the last 12 hours of Jesus' life, during his crucifixion, he will be recalling his childhood.
In a scene, Madonna gives him some food, in another one, he works as joiner together with his father.
We find these scenes in the screenplay, but there is nothing similar in the Gospels.
Then, in the first group scene, Jesus falls down two times, and is held by the Madonna. There are extras and roman soldiers.
When Jesus walks with the cross on his shoulders, all the people of Jerusalem offend him, and Mel Gibson suggested to the extras to offend him really, even to hurt him and his Mother.
In the crucifixion scene, Jesus is covered with blood, completely red. The cross is on the edge of Matera's canyon, and since for Jim Cavieziel, playing Jesus, it was impossible to be on the cross for hours, they built an animatronic robot looking exactly like Caviezel. The animatronic robot was moved by remote control by Mel Gibson.

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