November 10, 2004

The Passion a foreign film?

World Magazine Blog is reporting that Mel Gibson's blockbuster Jesus movie The Passion of the Christ is ineligible for nomination for best picture at the Golden Globe awards on a technicality:

According to the rules of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the awards, the best picture nominees must be in English (an odd requirement from foreign journalists). "The Passion" is in Aramaic and Latin, so it can only compete in the foreign-language category, though other awards, such as directing and scriptwriting, are still open to it.

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If The Passion is technically a foreign film, this raises an interesting question: of what country? The Chaldean and Roman empires have been dust for millennia.

Speaking of The Passion, Jollyblogger touched off a small flurry of posts in the blogosphere with his article on the failure of "the greatest evangelistic tool in the last 2000 years" as an evangelistic tool. It turns out that thousands have been profoundly affected by the message of the film, but as a witnessing tool it just didn't live up to the hype that was lavished upon it. Jeri at Blog on the Lillypad follows up, rightly pointing out the wrong-headed tendency of many evangelicals to evaluate art only in terms of its worth in evangelism - good art is also good propaganda, in other words. (Similarly, I have friends who will automatically dismiss any Christian music that doesn't have a high "rah-rah Jesus" quotient.)