Madrid, Spain, Feb 17, 2004 / 22:00 pm
In an article written for the Spanish newspaper “La Razón,” the renowned Italian journalist Vittorio Messori recounts his experience seeing “The Passion of the Christ,” saying the movie is greatest film about Jesus Christ ever produced because of its “radical catholicity” and the providential signs that marked its filming.
“What Gibson was attempting with ‘The Passion’ he has achieved: it hits you”, is the title of the article by Messori, who attended a private screening of the final version of film at the invitation of Mel Gibson and Icon Producer Steve McEveety, together with a several other prominent Europeans.
According to Messori, there was complete silence in the theater even after the credits finished rolling and the lights were turned on. “Two women are quietly weeping; the bishop at my side is pale white, with his eyes closed; his young secretary nervously prays the rosary; the beginnings of a timid and mild applause quickly fade in embarrassment. For several long moments nobody gets up, nobody moves, nobody speaks,” he adds. Messori says that “what we were told is true: ‘The Passion of the Christ’ hits you. The effect on us was just as Gibson intended.”
Messori said the experience was disconcerting after years of believing he “knew everything” about the Passion. He discovered that he only “thought he knew it all,” because “everything changes when the account is rendered into images that transform it into flesh and blood, into evident acts of love and of hatred.”