Cast: Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Monica Bellucci, Rosalinda Celentano, Francesco Devito, Chokri Ben Zagden, Christo Jivkov, Luca Lionello, Hristo Shopov, Claudia Gerini, Fabio Sartor, Luca De Dominicis, Mattia Sbragia, Toni Bertorelli, Jarreth Merz, Sergio Rubini, Francesco Cabras, Giovanni Capalbo, Roberto Bestazoni, Sabrina Impacciatore, Pietro Sarubbi, Matt Patresi, Emilio De Marchi, Roberto Visconti, Lello Giulivo, Abel Jafry
Plot / Synopsis:
The Passion of the Christ largely covers the final twelve hours of Jesus' life beginning with the Agony in the Garden and ending with a brief depiction of his Resurrection. Flashbacks of Jesus as a Child, when Jesus worked as a carpenter, the Sermon on the Mount, the saving of Mary Magdalene from being stoned to death, and the Last Supper are also included. The film's dialogue is entirely in reconstructed Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew with vernacular subtitles. The translation of the original English script into the ancient languages was provided by Fr. William J. Fulco, a professor of ancient Mediterranean studies at Loyola Marymount University, who also served as the production's theological consultant.
In its initial theatrical release, The Passion of the Christ was a major hit, grossing in excess of $600 million. The film won fifteen awards and ultimately became the highest grossing non-English language film ever.
The film opens in Gethsemane in medias res as Jesus prays and is tempted by Satan, while his apostles, Peter, James and John sleep. After receiving thirty pieces of silver, one of Jesus' other apostles, Judas Iscariot, approaches with the temple guards and betrays Jesus with a kiss. As the guards move in to arrest Jesus, Peter cuts off the ear of Malchus, but Jesus heals the ear. The temple guards arrest Jesus and the apostles flee. John tells Mary and Mary Magdalene of the arrest. Peter follows Jesus at a distance. Caiaphas holds a trial of Jesus over the objection of some of the other priests, who are expelled from the court. When questioned by Caiaphas whether he is the son of God, Jesus replies "I AM". Caiaphas is horrified and tears his robes and Jesus is condemned to death for blasphemy. Three times Peter denies knowing Jesus, but then runs away sobbing. Meanwhile, the remorseful Judas attempts to return the money to have Jesus freed, but is refused by the priests. Tormented by demons, he flees the city and hangs himself with a rope from a dead donkey.
Caiaphas brings Jesus before Pontius Pilate to be condemned to death, but after questioning Jesus, Pilate sends him instead to the court of Herod Antipas, as Jesus is from Herod's ruling town of Nazareth. After Jesus is returned, Pilate offers the crowd that he will chastise Jesus and then will set him free. Pilate attempts to have Jesus freed by giving the people an option of freeing Jesus or the violent criminal Barabbas. To Pilate's dismay, the crowd demands to have Barabbas freed and Jesus killed. In an attempt to appease the crowd, Pilate has Jesus brutally scourged and mocked with a crown of thorns, yet the crowd continues to demand that Jesus be crucified. Pilate is left with no choice but to reluctantly order Jesus' crucifixion.
As Jesus carries the cross along the Via Dolorosa to Calvary, Seraphia wipes Jesus's face with her veil. Simon of Cyrene is unwillingly pressed into carrying the cross with Jesus. Jesus is then crucified. As he hangs from the cross, Jesus prays forgiveness for those who did this to him and redeems a criminal crucified next to him. After Jesus gives up his spirit and dies, a single drop of rain falls from the sky, triggering an earthquake which destroys the Temple and rips the cloth covering the Holy of Holies in two, to the horror of Caiaphas and the other priests. Satan is then shown screaming in defeat. The story ends with Jesus rising from the dead and exiting his tomb.