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Inside the Passion: An Insider's Look at the Passion of the Christ Hardcover – February 10, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

From the Foreword by Mel Gibson:
"As a man of faith and a scholar, Fr. John carefully examines a number of issues that simmer just beneath the surface of the film—vital issues like forgiveness, love, freedom, the role of Mary, salvation, and the meaning of suffering, human and divine. The time he spent with myself and others involved in the production gives him a unique and, I think, interesting perspective."
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Ascension Pr (February 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932645772
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932645774
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Catholic Mom on February 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing book! The author truly sheds light on so many questions I had about the movie, but more importantly about the Passion of Christ! From artistic choices made by Mel Gibson, to the theological decisions that went behind almost every scene, this book takes you deeper into the story than you could have ever imagined. I would recommed it to anyone who desires a closer relationship with Christ, as well as those who wish to know what the director was thinking during the making of the film.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. O'Connor on April 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I saw Fr. John Bartunek (the author) give a presentation on The Passion of Christ (event and film) last night to a surprisingly packed (who knew so many people would show up on a Tuesday night to discuss a two-year old film?) university campus church auditorium of over 500 people (students and community members). His presentation, like his book, gives a fascinating and compelling account of the theology and symbolism that went into the making of Mel Gibson's film. The presentation was electrifying; the book is no less moving and thought-provoking. For example, there's a very short scene in the film when, in the midst of the horrific flogging of Christ, the camera turns to what appears to be a shot of a young mother with her infant child in the crowd. As the camera moves in on them, however, we find that the woman is not beautiful, but very odd and sinister, and the baby almost inhuman, as we see when it turns its head to give the viewer an evil smile. The symbolism: The woman represents the devil and the child his handiwork. Gibson takes an iconoclastic image of Beauty (Madonna and Child) and turns it into Evil (devil and inhuman offspring). The point:

Evil is not immediately identifiable as starkly evil; rather, evil is simply beauty that has become distorted and false. It tempts us into thinking it is one thing, when in fact it is quite something else. The significance, twofold: to illustrate the devil's role in the suffering and death of Christ and, perhaps more importantly, to show that when Christ is at his weakest (including in modern society), the devil gains a foothold. Interesting tidbit: Gibson used a beautiful actress as the devil, had her head and eyebrows shaved, and used makeup to turn her into something very un-beautiful. And this was only one 20-second scene!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Inside the Passion is a behind the scenes peek at how the movie was made. It explains why certain things were shown and is surprisingly useful as a meditation tool.

A lot of folks flipped out because they thought the scourging and crucifixion scenes were too strong. The book explains why Mel Gibson and his team decided that they were not going to sanitize the Passion the way other movies had in the past.

Some folks nitpicked becuase Gibson and the team decided to have Jesus speak Latin to Pilate but the book shows that they made this decision for pretty sensible reasons: 1. The Romans had been in Palestine for 40 years. In Gallilee, which was heavily gentile by that time, a smart person must have been roughly familiar with Latin if for no other reason than that it was important to know how high to jump when a Roman soldier demanded that you do so. 2. Jesus was God. He could've spoken in any language He chose when He decided to speak to Pilate's ignorance.

Finally, the great strength of this book is that it so closely follows the movie step by step that even if you never saw the film after reading the book you will understand it. This is an excellent work and I plan to buy more copies as gifts.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By non-Catholic Dad on April 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A great book that gets into the details of the movie. As a non-Catholic, I appreciate the open, honest insights to which scenes were strictly from the Gospels, which were artistic developments and which scenes came from the writings of a mystic nun.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. S. C. on September 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is written so clearly that almost anyone should have no trouble understanding the way Father John Bartunek, a Legionary of Christ (Roman Catholic Religious Order), clarifies the different aspects of Christ's Passion as is portrayed by Mel Gibson in his movie. Father John spent time on the set, watching as Mel filmed this great epic and has not only interesting insights into the filming of the movie, but also clarifies the main points, as well as details of the entire Passion of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. The movie is well worth rewatching ... as you read Inside the Passion and you will see it in a new light every time. Our Lord's Passion speaks to each of us individually, touching our hearts anew and calling us to a real Love, that comes from Christ Himself. This is a great book and a great gift for anyone at any stage in their faith.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Maria the Critter on July 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my Dad, but opened it up last night and couldn't put it down. The book is only 186 pages, but it's not a quick read. It makes you think. It brings up insights I never thought about, Mel Gibson's 12 years of meditating on Christ's Passion have born a lot of fruits. Read it for yourself.
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