A week before the national premier of “The Passion” in Brazil, a Jewish lawyer has asked the Brazilian Department of Justice to prevent the film from being shown in the country because he considers it too violent. Ironically the lawyer admitted he had purchased and viewed a pirated version of the film.
Jacob Pinheiro Goldberg sent a letter to the Department of Justice demanding the film not be allowed to be shown. “It’s an apologetic and a historical distortion capable of leading to anti-Semitic discrimination,” charged Goldberg, who apparently showed no concern for promoting film piracy.
The action was the latest in a series of attacks against the film. Earlier the Rabbi of Sao Paulo, Henry Sobel said he felt “repulsion” and “horror” from the “cruelty” of the film, even claiming that “several bishops” supported him in his accusations of anti-Semitism.
Nevertheless, the president of the National Bishops Conference of Brazil, Cardinal Gerardo Majella Agnello, who attended the same private screening of the film as Sobel, told reporters “one cannot conclude that there is anti-Semitism” in the movie.
He acknowledged the movie is powerful but he trusted it would draw large crowds and inspire them to read the Bible.
Several bishops are scheduled to speak about the movie during a press conference Friday in Brasilia.