A leading French cinema group is refusing to screen Mel Gibson's new movie The Passion Of The Christ, insisting it's little more than "fascist propaganda."

MK2, one of Paris' leading arthouse circuits with 58 screens across 10 cinemas, will not air The Passion when it's released in France next week (31MAR04).

Company president MARIN KARMITZ says, "I have always fought against fascism, notably through my exhibition activity. For me, Passion is a film of fascist propaganda.

"The movie turns violence and barbarity into a spectacle. For two hours, you see a man being tortured, nothing else."

"And, given the representation of the Jews, anti-Semitism is the third element of this fascist ideology. In America, the Jewish lobbies made a mistake by basing the debate solely on this point.

"Behind this Passion... you can glimpse a whole internationale of religious fundamentalism, a martyrology based on violence, contempt for the body and hatred for the human element."

23/03/2004 21:23