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Gibson Movie on Jesus Concerns Jewish Group

June 28, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

The Anti-Defamation League says it still has concerns that an upcoming movie on the death of Jesus by Mel Gibson will portray Jews as "blood-thirsty, sadistic and money-hungry enemies of Jesus."

In a statement issued this week, the ADL raised five separate concerns about "The Passion," which is scheduled for release next year and has already generated buzz for its Aramaic dialogue and violent depictions of the crucifixion.

The ADL is concerned that the film resurrects old prejudices that blame Jews for the death of Jesus. It said the film threatens to "oversimplify" history, present an "inescapably negative picture of Jewish society and leadership," and "portray Jews and the Temple as the locus of evil."

A spokesman for Gibson's Icon Productions said company officials were unavailable for comment, and referred to a June 13 statement from Gibson in which he said "neither I nor my film is anti-Semitic."

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