chapter  5
13 Pages

Emotion and Empathy: From Sins and Pains to Bodies and Deeds in Horror Movies (Featuring The Passion of the Christ and Se7en)

Notwithstanding some astounding success for Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, the cinematic phenomenon of 2004 remains The Passion of the Christ.3 Mel Gibson’s reactionary view of the trial, torture, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus generated acclaim and controversy worldwide.4 It is the anomalous blockbuster that resounds with religious as well as political implications. Newsweek criticized it in detail over five different issues.5 The principal reviewer of films for the New Yorker took the rare step of condemning it with careful respect not once but twice.6 The movie made a mint for Gibson.7 It challenged the Hollywood aversion to religion as a theme for cinema.8 And it sparked again the smoldering discontent with graphic violence in popular movies.