Mel Gibsonrsquos film is a creative reworking of opportunities provided by migrating to Australia as a boy and a life-long desire to be reconciled to his father, Hutton Gibson. If the film is read as a study in psychology and biography, then biblical and theological critiques, along with contemporary politically correct stances towards what Gibson did, can be set temporarily aside in search of a larger trajectory of meaning implicit in the film. The embodied nature of the film, along with other violent films in which Gibson starred in the past three decades, points to wellsprings of ldquopower in the blood.rdquo Violence becomes an idiom of reconciliation with authority. Gibsonrsquos relationship to his father plays a major role in such a reading of the film. A continuous reconciliation with his father is evident not only in thematic continuities over the course of Mel Gibsonrsquos professional acting career and starring roles. It also structures the directorrsquos construction of Christrsquos Passion. A desire ldquonot to be forsakenrdquo gives rise to this idiosyncratic and controversial film, itself a cinematic statement about Gibsonrsquos own personal spiritual torment.
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