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'The Passion Recut' takes centrestage on Star Movies on 1 March

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MUMBAI: A first from Star Movies as it airs The Passion Recut without any commercial breaks on Wednesday 1 March, a day when the Christian holy season of Lent begins, 40 days before Easter.

On that day Star Movies presents the Mel Gibson film The Passion Recut at 9 pm. In a break from convention the telecast will feature no commercials to ensure that audiences feel the complete authenticity of the subject with dialogues in Latin and Aramaic. There will be English and Hindi subtitles.

For the uninitiated this film depicts the final hours of Jesus Christ, starting from his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane where Satan sends a serpent to his betrayal at the hands of Judas Iscariot. It goes on to show the trials he endured under Pontius Pilate who wanted to set him free and King Herod as well as the torture and ridicule he suffered in between.

Once the death sentence is pronounced, he carries a heavy wooden cross to Golgotha amidst throngs of jeering citizens and horrendous beatings, while a few citizens do what they can to help Him. Throughout this time, we are shown memories from his past with his mother and Disciples, where he gives his teachings. Finally, he is crucified, dies, and is buried, but resurrects from the dead three days later.

Interesting facts:

- When this Latin and Aramaic language film was announced, Mel Gibson stated that his intent was to release it without subtitles, letting the performances speak for themselves.
- However, subtitles were added later. Also, he stated that regardless of the cost of the project, that this would be "good for the soul"
- James Caviezel who plays Christ experienced a shoulder separation when the 150 pound cross, dropped on his shoulder.
- It took over 10 hours to put Caviezel into the scourged makeup
- Caviezel was given a prosthetic nose and a raised hairline. His blue eyes were digitally changed to brown on film
- Maia Morgenstern, who plays Mary (mother of Jesus), is only six years older than Caviezel
- The assistant director of the movie was hit by lightening during filming.
- Because of their experiences during film production, many of the cast and filming crew converted to Catholicism after the completion of the film. Among those who converted was an atheist who played Judas Iscariot.

Mel Gibson laid his money, his career and his reputation on the line in an attempt to fulfill a dream. There were plenty of sceptics who mocked him. But for every critic who mocked and every voice who spoke with fear and loathing, there were dozens more who accepted, embraced and adored this film. Its box office success may have forever changed the film industry, as we know it. But, more important than its box office figures, only the subject of this film knows how many lives were brought closer as a result of Mel Gibson's labour of love.

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