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The Passion: Photography from the Movie "The Passion of the Christ" Hardcover – February 16, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This exclusive and official companion volume to Mel Gibson's film The Passion of Christ invites readers to ponder some of the most powerful still photographs from the movie. Gibson provides a foreword in which he briefly describes the inspiration for making the film and explains his decision to draw on Scripture and "accepted visions" of the Passion as the sole texts for the screenplay. In the book, relevant Scripture passages (from the New Living Translation, alongside Latin and Aramaic) are juxtaposed against stunning full-color photographs of the film's depiction of Jesus' final 12 hours. We see Jesus kneeling in Gethsemane, bloodied by soldiers, brought before Pontius Pilate, mocked by Herod and nailed to the cross. Some images are simply unforgettable—Judas hanging himself from a tree; Mary recalling a poignant moment from Jesus' childhood; a spike being driven through Jesus' palm. Several pages of photos at the end of the book chronicle some behind-the-scenes moments in the making of the film.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; First Edition edition (February 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0842373624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0842373623
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

I first got interested in photography in my early teens and became quite unpopular by dismantling my father's Bellows camera to make a B&W enlarger. On leaving school, I went into photographic sales, progressing to become senior technical representative for Australia's leading photographic supply house. When that company imported the 'Widelux' camera, I found a vehicle which could finally translate onto film exactly what I could see in a landscape.

Photography quickly became a passion. In 1982 I left Sydney to realise my dream of producing a quality book of Australian images. Little did I know that the dream would cost me my house, cars and everything else I had and take five years to complete.

During my travels around Australia, I have collected over 100,000 panoramic images. But I had to endure many hardships in the pursuit of that dream. A fall from Kata Tjuta in Central Australia resulted in gangrene and the eventual amputation of my left big toe. The freezing damp of western Tasmania caused hypothermia and severe damage to my nervous system that took many months to recover from.

I spent most of my time from 1982 to 1986 travelling extensively throughout Australia. During that time I married my beautiful wife, Pam, my strong supporter, my faithful ally and my best working buddy.

As a photographer, I see himself as merely an interpreter of God's creation. The art is in seeing, capturing and presenting these images to others.

Locations of our Galleries and details of our products are available at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

200 of 211 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on February 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This superbly crafted, photographed and carefully scripted book, along with the wonderful daily vespers book "His Passion' (see my review) provide an excellent set of companion material for those moved to action by the experience of the film itself, and who want to explore more into both the project Mel Gibson embarked on in the making of the film as well as the particualr sect of scriptural teachings informing the endeavor. It also provides Gibson for a forum in which he can explain the project and deal with the multitude of criticism emanating from both the secular and wider religious communities.
As a result of these considerations, the reader is presented with a great deal of relevant material explaining why Gibson chose to use some fairly obscure and narrow interpretations of the events surrounding Jesus' Passion during the final days of His life on earth. For example, within the pages of the foreword of the book, Gibson explains how he came to depend so heavily on the use of Biblical passages from the "New Living Translation" version of the Bible almost exclusively as the material for the spoken dialogue in the script. He also articulates why he deliberately decided to use more original antique languages along with English subtitles in order to maximize the authenticity of the moviegoer's experience of the final twelve hours of Jesus' life.
The book works quite well, using the combination of both diverting text and a wonderful collage of stunning photographs to display the movie-making experience. One caution, however; those who have not seen the movie should be aware that Gibson assumes those reading the book have seen the epic, and although one can get a fairly good representation of the film from the book, it is clearly no substitute for the experience itself.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Meghann on February 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
...Mel Gibson obviously cares about the Lord, he was brave enough to make this movie(which cost him 27 million dollars) even if he might have been ridiculed for it which is what you are doing right now. It is an amazing movie and I read Mark in the bible. Some of the lines in the movie are EXACTLY what jesus said, such as, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" Mark 15:34. Jesus DID suffer in such a way that is depicted in the movie. Even the pope said, "It is as it was." Please consider the hard work and dedication that was put into this movie. I don't want this comment to discourage ANYONE from seeing this movie or reading the book, because both are amazing.
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70 of 76 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
An excellent book inspired by the Mel Gibson film. Breathtaking photographs and behind the scenes insight into the production combined with Gibson's foreward explaining his inspiration for making it, result in a powerful book.
It's not my habit to comment on other people's "reviews," but the "reader from Seattle"'s remarks need addressing, especially since it's obvious from "reader from Seattle"'s statements that "reader from Seattle" did not, and likely will not, read the book (and therefore should not be cluttering up these boards with a "review"):
"Reader from Seattle" says "Perhaps worst of all, Gibson's emphasis on the idea that Jesus 'died for the sins of humanity' is misguided and only fuels the aggression of the Religious Right."
The idea that Jesus "died for the sins of all humanity" is the WHOLE POINT of the story. It comes directly from the Bible - directly from the mouth of Jesus himself. Even if one does not accept that the Bible was written by God through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, these apostles were the ONLY witnesses to His life and words. His words make it clear he died for the sins of mankind. YOU are misguided.
Furthermore, if, as "reader from Seattle" says, "Jesus allowed himself to be arrested, knowing he would probably be killed, to provide a good example of the loving and forgiving pacifist and martyr," why doesn't "reader from Seattle" follow that example? Why does "reader from Seattle" worry about the "aggression of the Religious Right," or anyone else whose message "reader from Seattle" fears and disagrees with? Why not follow Jesus' supposed example by being loving and forgiving of the Religious Right?
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By History Teacher on March 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Other readers have commented on the movie as well as the book. I want to comment just on the book. It might seem that there is no need to buy the book if you have seen the movie (which I thought was wonderful). But when you see the still photos you can appreciate, in a way that you can't in the theatre (because you are so pulled into the story) how gorgeous the movie is. Many of the stills look like paintings and are reminiscent of Rembrandt and Vermeer as well as Caravaggio. I only regret that there were not even more photos. I wanted one of the scene where Mary holds Christ in the pose of Michelangelo's Pieta, for instance. However, there was a good selection.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Mel Gibson states in his lovely forward to this book that the "word which best defines" what guided him, as well as others involved in the production of this brilliant film, was "aletheia", Greek for what would translate as "unforgetting". With this book we can remember this magnificent film, and the impact it has had on our lives.
The outline of the film, portions of the script (by Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald), as well as the Biblical references to each scene, are alongside still photographs taken during the filming by Ken Duncan and Philippe Antonello.
The marvel of this book is that one can examine at leisure the extraordinary work that went into the production design by Francesco Frigeri, the set decoration by Carlo Gervasi...take note of the marvelous oil lamp "tree" on pg. 43, that is in the governor's quarters...and the amazing costume design by Maurizio Millenotti, which I can only assume must have had hand-loomed cloth made especially for them.
Jim Caviezel is in my opinion the most perfect depiction of Jesus on film, physically strong enough to be a first century carpenter, and with a face that reminds me of Masaccio's Lord.
The sublime photographs for me are the Jesus on pg. 25, in a flashback scene while at home with Mary working on a table; Mary, in an outstanding portrayal by Romanian actress Maia Morgenstern, with her face to the floor, as she senses Jesus below in an underground cell on pg. 38; Mary Magdalene, beautiful in every way as played by Monica Bellucci on pg. 73; and most astounding, on pg. 114, His feet. Nailed and red with blood, this photograph moves me to tears, a work of astonishing art as well as faith.
The final six pages contain photos from the production. Solidly constructed with good quality paper and a semi-gloss finish, this is an excellent book, for unforgetting.
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