Mel Gibson's `Passion' expected to draw crowds - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/25/04

Mel Gibson's `Passion' expected to draw crowds

The controversial Mel Gibson movie, "The Passion Of The Christ," opens today at 28-hundred theaters around the country. The movie details a grim depiction of the torture during the last 12 hours leading to the crucifixion of Christ. But Christians nationwide are being drawn by expectations that is also a profoundly moving experience. The release coincides with Ash Wednesday and thousands of people will be watching early screenings.

A church member in Plano, Texas, has rented all 20 screens at a theater complex for special showings. He says when you see the sacrifice that Jesus made, it makes you feel like doing something better with your life.

Commenting on the graphic portrayal of Jesus' torture and death, the reverend Jack Graham, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, says it's "rated `R' for reality."

In Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, people attending a midnight showing cried during the torture scenes and groaned as Jesus was nailed to the cross.

Tune in to KLTV tonight at 5, 6, and 10pm as we bring you local reaction from Tyler and Longview screenings of "The Passion Of The Christ".

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