July 21, 2009
The Top Faith-Offending Films
LA Times includes 'Passion,' 'Da Vinci Code,' 'Golden Compass' on list
The Los Angeles Times recently put together a feature called "Faith-Offending Films," starting, interestingly, with Falling, the latest film from Richard Dutcher, the former Mormon who had already alienated LDS fans with edgier and edgier movies. (LDS Review refused to review Falling because of its R rating, prompting quite a spirited debate in its comments.)
Included in the Times list was The Passion of The Christ . But why?
The Times wrote that it was offensive to Jews: "Its stark images of Jesus' crucifixion and the violence toward him, as well as villainous portrayals of many Jewish people, created a religious furor. Rabbis around the world said the film had the potential to transmit potent negative images, attitudes, stereotypes and caricatures about Jews and Judaism." (In an essay for CT, Jewish critic Michael Medved argued that it shouldn't have been offensive to Jews.)
Also on the Times list: Angels & Demons (for offensiveness to Catholics), The Golden Compass (Catholics), The Love Guru (Hindus), Submission (Muslims), and a few more. Curiously, the list also includes Team America: World Police, for its offensiveness to "lots of red-blooded Americans, least of all a certain Mr. Sean Penn," and Tropic Thunder, for offending "disability groups." What those two have to do with "faith" escapes me.
Meanwhile, the UK's Future Movies put together a list of The Top Ten Controversial Films, which includes Lars von Trier's upcoming Anti Christ (releasing in the US in October). Their reason? Because it "has achieved notoriety quickly by distinguishing itself from the current onslaught of â€˜torture pornâ€™ films with extensive visceral action. Outraged critics have responded badly to explicit scenes of genital mutilation, attempted murder, vigorous sex scenes and a graphic masturbation sequence." Yes, even normally open-minded critics are outraged. It does sound pretty outrageous.