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Movie-A-Day #114: The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).

April 24, 2011

On Easter, the holiest day on the Christian calendar, I just want to say a few words about Martin Scorcese’s adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ “The Last Temptation of Christ.” Both the novel and the film met with furious opposition from conservative Christian groups who objected to the depiction of Jesus as a human being, with human flaws and desires. But isn’t that the point? What makes him so powerful is that as the Christ he is both human and divine, and that by personifying the two he is able to bridge the gap and help the rest of humanity redeem themselves and get in touch with God. If Christ is solely divine, how can we find ourselves in him, and him in us? But if he has a human side that can struggle with and finally resist Satan’s temptation on the cross, why shouldn’t we be able to do the same?

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