Three French Jewish brothers have failed in their bid to get Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion banned in France this week (ends02APR04).

Patrick, JEAN-MARC and GERARD BENLOLO, who branded the film "anti-Semitic", were told by the court that they had not proven The Passion would incite racial hatred among French natives.

Monday's (29MAR04) ruling read: "The film in question, which is a very realistic adaptation of the final hours of Christ's life, cannot be considered an incitement to hatred and violence against Jews or an affront to their dignity and security.

"Making Jesus's death the main motive for anti-Semitism and age-old persecutions of Jews would amount to a narrow and simplistic view of Mel Gibson's film."

The Benlolo brothers rushed to present their case last Friday (26MAR04) after they, the judge FLORENCE LAGEMI and lawyers for the film had seen a private screening.

Lagemi ruled against the Benlolo's saying that the film portrayed an accurate reflection of the Biblical texts - yet the brothers felt a duty as Jews to try to get it banned.

They said, "There is so much violent anti-Semitism in Europe that we cannot let this happen."

The brothers are set to appeal the ruling against the film which is due to be released in France this Wednesday (31MAR04).

30/03/2004 17:29