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Critical analysis of The Passion of the Christ and The Da Vinci Code

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  1. Introduction
  2. The Passion of the Christ and The Da Vinci Code: A comparison
  3. The controversy stirred
  4. The controversies surrounding The Passion of the Christ
  5. The life of Jesus Christ in The Da Vinci Code
  6. The response towards the movies
  7. Conclusion

Movies are typically created as a means to entertain and inform a wide audience. While this is the case in most instances, it is evident that movies that deal with overt religious themes?while many times fictitious in nature?often spark considerable controversy and anger. One only needs to consider the recent controversies that have been offered in the recent wake of The Da Vinci Code to clearly understand this issue. Clearly, when it comes to sparking religious ire, many critics do not approve when sensitive religious themes and subjects are discussed openly in film. A critical review of what has been written about the controversies of overt religious themes in film seems to suggest that films that focus on Christianity suffer the most notable debates overall. Criticisms of movies such as The Da Vinci Code, The Passion of the Christ and Dogma definitively demonstrate the hostile feelings that are evoked when filmmakers attempt to portray their vision of religion and religious meaning. Even though these films only reflect a larger interpretation of Christianity from the standpoint of the director, the reality is that they spark vehement controversy.

[...] While both The Passion of the Christ and The Da Vinci Code have attracted millions of views worldwide, many moviegoers appear to see the film as a way to understand the controversy and the manner in which society is reacting to a specific religious tradition. As such, films that portray the presentation of overt religious themes serve as the impetus to create a shared cultural experience in which individuals are given the opportunity to see divergent views about their religious faiths. [...]

[...] This author goes on to argue that the violence used to depict the last hours of Christ do nothing more than support ?Hollywood's secular fondness for violent movies? (18). While Krondorfer does indeed acknowledge that the crucifixition was indeed a violent event, he notes that the depictions used by Gibson in the film were excessive and unnecessary to bring about the message (18). Other scholars examining the movie have argued that the specific imagery and messages that were used in the film served as the basis to shock and divide ?Christians and Jews, between and among themselves, in how to view and review the traditional Jesus of the Gospels? (Garber, 71). [...]

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