Mel Gibson's controversial religious film The Passion has been praised as
the "best adaptation of THE BIBLE in Hollywood history" by an acclaimed
American reviewer - who is also an orthodox Jew.
The epic has been condemned by a number of religious groups, but critic
MICHAEL MEDVED spoke on television of his approval of the $25.6 million (GBP16
million) film, funded entirely by devout Roman Catholic Gibson.
Writer DAVID HOROWITZ, also an observant Jew, agreed, calling the film "an
awesome artifact and an overpowering work".
These appraisals are wildly estranged from the ferocious criticism leveled
at the production by certain religious groups who, after seeing a leaked copy
of the script, branded the movie anti-Semitic.
A panel of three Jewish and six Roman Catholic scholars who studied the
script concluded Jews were presented by Gibson as "bloodthirsty, vengeful and
However, a select group of film and literary critics have been shown a
rough cut of The Passion - on the condition they did not write or speak about
the contents without permission, because the picture is not released until next