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Passion of Christ: 4 films, 4 books, 2 lectures

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Passion of Christ: 4 films, 4 books, 2 lectures

Passion of Christ: do not know what to say, thinking about the last days and death of the One who saved us. But you always come back to this last week of the Savior, to this incomprehensible way of God to death. We have prepared an overview of several films, books and lectures on this topic.


The "Passion of Christ" by Mel Gibson is probably the most famous film about the Passion, an adaptation of the last hours of Jesus' life. The film is famous, beloved by many. They criticized and criticize him, however, quite strongly. First: "Hollywood", "blockbuster" on the Gospel. Secondly: a whole pornography of violence and blood, some voluptuousness of passions. Thirdly, Gibson was accused of primitivizing the gospel story before the message: "here the evil Jews of Jesus killed."

The last part of the four-part Zeffirelli "Jesus of Nazareth." The film is classic, from an outstanding director. It is believed that this is the most reliable adaptation of the Gospel.

The Poem of the Grand Inquisitor is probably the best reflection on why mankind killed God. It would kill Him again, Dostoevsky asserts and reconstructs the philosophy of the killers. In the wonderful film adaptation of "Poems" – "Inquisition" Evans perfectly conveyed the text of Dostoevsky.

Griffith's “Intolerance” is the undisputed masterpiece of silent cinema. The film consists of four short stories on injustice and violence: ancient Babylon, Bartholomew’s night, the accusation of an innocent man for murder (today), the execution of Christ. The execution of Christ is the culmination of all world injustice, the limit of all innocently shed blood, but that is our endless joy that in the Passion all this is overcome and defeated. The film ends with a joyful apocalyptic scene: "and true love will bring us eternal peace."


“The last days of the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ” is a book of St. Innocent of Kherson, a patristic view. Beautiful from a literary point of view, this book is the first Russian experience in the historical and artistic presentation of the gospel events.

God is dead, God is dead, God is risen – this is the center of Christian theology. Hans Urs von Balthazar – one of the main theologians of the 20th century, a brilliant thinker – gives a complex, deep theology of Good Friday, Great Saturday, Easter in his book "Easter Secret".

Are there any political, social aspects in Holy Week? Yes, two prominent biblical scholars M. Borg and D. D. Crossan answer in their short book, Last Week. Jesus preached the Kingdom of God, that is, the establishment of the authority of the Lord, non-violent justice, opposing violence and the injustice of this world. God was killed by the Jewish and Roman establishment.

But is not the death and resurrection of Christ a variation of the pagan theme of the dying and resurrecting gods, atheists ask us? No, – the great thinker, anthropologist Rene Girard answers in his most popular book, Scapegoat. The gospel is not a myth, but a radical demythologization. If any mythology is based on the killing of an innocent victim, the Gospel exposes the sacrifice, brings the message that the victims are innocent, that this world is based on lies and murder – and this News destroys this world.


A lecture by Ilya Krasovitsky will help to understand what is happening in the church the last week before Easter, how the Church prepares us for this holiday, unfolding before us the events of the last days of the Savior's life.

A lecture by priest Alexei Agapov will perfectly explain why Holy Week is a holiday.

See also:

– A selection of adaptations of the Gospels

– A selection of materials about Holy Week

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