The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

Despite the disclaimer at the beginning of the film stating that this film is not based on the gospels, it begs the question: What is this film based on then?

I was both blessed and challenged by the closing 45 minutes of the film where Christ is tempted to withdraw from the cross and enjoy a human life and his ultimate decision not to. The opening two hours were more of an insult to the Christian faith than anything, not because the filmmakers were meaning harm, but because of the shallowness of the screenwriter's understanding of Jesus' message, life and death.

I remember the controversy when this film was released. I've always been intrigued by the concept and, being a Christian, felt it was my duty to give Scorsese and company the benefit of the doubt. But, John the Baptist is depicted as a hippy nudist colony leader and Jesus as a neurotic demoniac. I appreciate that Christ's humanity was emphasized, but his holiness was ignored.

I found it odd too that the North African culture was so prominently displayed rather than attempting to portray anything remotely Hebrew.


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