This can’t be good

12.07.05

Guess whose latest project is a movie about the Holocaust? None other than Mel Gibson, the guy whose megahit movie “The Passion of the Christ” was widely seen as antisemitic:

Gibson’s Con Artist Productions is developing “Flory” for ABC, based on the true story of a Dutch Jew named Flory Van Beek and her non-Jewish boyfriend who sheltered her from the Nazis, The New York Times and Variety reported in Wednesday editions.

Critics claimed Gibson’s blockbuster film “Passion of the Christ” was anti-Semitic, a charge Gibson has denied. Gibson’s father also is on the record denying that the Holocaust took place.

“For (Gibson) to be associated with this movie is cause for concern,” Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies in Melrose Park, Pa., told the Times. “He needs to come clean that he repudiates Holocaust denial.”

Now, I’m not saying that Gibson isn’t perfectly capable of making a good movie even set against a Holocaust backdrop. But I’m very, very skeptical, to put it mildly.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John Palubiski 12.08.05 at 6:24 PM

I won’t waltz into this minefield!

But I would like to ask an honest question.

Does going to Good Friday mass amount to a gesture of anti-semitism?

I’ve never rented, bought or even seen “The Passion”, by the way, so I don’t know whether it’s hateful or not.

You’re quite right about Mel’s father.

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2 DaninVan 12.08.05 at 7:11 PM

Only if you’re Jewish…;)

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3 John Palubiski 12.08.05 at 8:08 PM

Touché, DinV!

Seriously, though, Christianity has given rise to many, many incidents of anti-semitism over the centuries beginning in the Middle Ages and continuing to this day. As a Pole, I should know that.

Yet somehow things are different, and to illustrate what I mean one need only look at the “gibson” post and then the “UN” one just above.

Gibson’s “Passion” may insinuate anti-semitism, but the actions by Islamic Jihad and Hamas amount to direct and murderous Jew-hatred.

So my question is this; can one honestly apply the term “anti-semitic” to both situations in an equal manner? Can cryptic insinuations (assuming they’re present in “the Passion”) and vicious suicide bombings really be placed on the same level?

It’s as though events are outpacing our capacity to come up with terms to accurately describe what’s happening. The surplus pace of change has created a deficit of vocabulary that I believe has now placed us ALL at a disadvantage.

It’s a process that started back in the 60’s

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4 DaninVan 12.08.05 at 9:23 PM

Exactly. Damian had a link posted to a list of the Top Ten (new) PC words for ’05…not sure whether to chuckle or puke.
Here’s a piece by Michael Quinion of World Wide Words….
http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/howmany.htm
His weekly e-letter is a worthwhile read; there’s a subscription link at the addy above (free).

On the anti-semitism thing, maybe we could institute a rating system like:
A-S* through to A.S.***** ?

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5 segacs 12.08.05 at 9:48 PM

I think I’d better clarify: I’m not suggesting that being Christian or Catholic makes one an antisemite. Not at all.

But Mel Gibson in particular has made some very questionable statements, and the spin he put on his movie was arguably based on a particularly antisemitic interpretation of a Passion Play.

Gibson’s particular brand of Catholicism doesn’t recognize the Second Vatican Council, when the charge that the Jews killed Jesus was formally repudiated.

Of course, he has a right to believe whatever he wants, but these are some reasons why a Holocaust-themed project in his hands is a bit of a dodgy prospect.

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6 DaninVan 12.08.05 at 11:17 PM

Maybe he’s Repenting?…..phthhhpt!

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7 Jonny 12.09.05 at 2:22 AM

Mel Gibson is heaps good. I liked him in Mad Max and Gallipoli.

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8 Jonny 12.09.05 at 2:27 AM

Read the article. It says Gibson’s Con Artist Productions… this is his production company, which probably employs some Australian jews. I doubt that the individual Mel has to much to do with the actual production itself. Mel has been a friend of many local jews here in Australia.

I know for a fact that his production company has courted jewish Australian directors with very jewish themed movie ideas.

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9 John Palubiski 12.09.05 at 6:11 PM

Yeah, I know about his refusal to acknowledge the second Vatican council…..and the way the implications of that refusal could impact his credibility concerning holocaust projects.

However, Gibson’s problemes with Vatican II could stem from any number of things such as the abandonment of Latin in chruch services or the slacking of what were formerly theological/dogmatic “absolutes”. He’s definately trying to contain and battle his moral anomie and the resulting sentiments of nihilism

And yes, passion plays such as the one held in Oberemergau, Austria (spelling?) do, I believe, promote a subtle and pernicious “blame” aimed at culpabilising ALL Jews.

As for the changing face of both anti-semites and anti-semitism; perhaps it’s time we came up with a ratings systeme or a kind of hierarchy.

Were such a thing ever put into practice the artsy-fartsy anti-war crowd and their…um….”progressive green” allies would most certainly top the list.

And Gibson, IMHO, would probably be somewhere near the bottom.

DinV, I must have missed Damian’s posting about the top ten new PC words for ’05. Was that just recently, or was it posted last Jan?

In any case, I dread the arrival of those for ’06 because from where I stand many words have now come to mean their opposites.

And yet, I don’t ever remember having fallen into a rabbit hole….

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10 DaninVan 12.10.05 at 5:27 AM

Well to say Damian posted it isn’t quite the way it happened….Damian posted this…
http://www.fimoculous.com/year-review-2005.cfm

that took me here…
http://www.languagemonitor.com/wst_page20.html

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11 segacs 08.10.06 at 5:31 AM

And… who called it?

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