Passion for Mel Gibson's new movie about Christ is growing, but has controversy surrounding the movie slowed local ticket sales or has it heightened interest?
Violence and anti-Semitism may be the buzz words for this movie so far, but no amount of negative publicity has deterred sales.
"Actually I think it's a good thing. He said that he wants it to be shocking I think that's what it's going to be," said resident Kevin Baier.
One Tallahassee Theater has already made $20,000 in ticket sales. Eleven local churches have purchased individual screenings collectively buying up 3,300 theater seats and individuals are dropping in for advanced sales.
"I take a personal interest in it myself. Wanna learn more about it,” said resident Martha White. People in the theater business say it's not about controversy, it's about cinematography. I'm judging it as a film and not really as a political thing,” said local director, Greg Marcks.
"Anytime you make a movie about religion people are very passionate about that and so it's gonna cause a stir. For me it's like a movie, people make movies all the time. And this is one person's interpretation,” said local actor Stark Sands.
But the theaters are not without concern. One local theatre won’t even put up an advance poster. We're told the corporate office is afraid of negative action before the movie even opens. As for the local Jewish perspective on this movie we spoke with a Rabbi who says he's going to see it alongside a Christian minister. Together the two plan to review the movie and then decide what they feel and release that to their congregations.
The Rabbi plans to write an article reviewing the movie from a Jewish perspective.