Easter Brings Crowd to Gibson's Film - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/11/04-East Texas

Easter Brings Crowd to Gibson's Film

It's one of the biggest movies of all time, earning up to this point more than $350 million. "The Passion of the Christ" is Mel Gibson's real life portrayal of the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus. The film opened to sold out crowds and has fallen off of late, but Sunday was expected to be one of the films biggest.

KLTV talked to some folks Sunday to see why they decided to see this film.

It's captured the hearts and minds of millions. A true and sometimes graphic interpretation of the events that led to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The debate over "The Passion of the Christ" has been significant, but there's one thing no one can argue, it's opened a new dialogue into christianity.  Jean Medders came out with her family to see the movie a Times Square Cinema in Tyler, her reasoning was simple.

"We got up and went to early church and came straight here to see the movie," she said. "We just really though Easter would be a great day to come and see about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ."

The Medders joined folks like Becky Swearingen. This mother hoping to give her children an Easter lesson like none they've had before.

"I feel like its a really good thing to do with your children to be with them, explain it to them exactly what's going on," she said. "It's just the perfect day to see a movie like this."

Many of those who filled the theater were seeing the film for the first time. Others, like pastor Ken McEachern were hoping to share their experience.

"I had seen the movie and the rest of the family had not and we're not having services tonight so we thought it would be a great day to see it together."

He is the pastor of a church in Jacksonville. Asked why "The Passion" stirred interest on Easter Sunday, his answer was straightforward.

"We don't really know how to celebrate Easter, we know how to celebrate Christmas but we don't know how to celebrate Easter," he said "This movie shows us what Easter is all about."

A big movie with an even bigger message. Right now "The Passion of the Christ" sits 8th on the list of all-time largest grossing films, just behind "Jurassic Park". It's expected to move up a spot when this weekends numbers are totaled. All this while the number of screens showing the film are decreasing. It's expected to be shown here locally for another couple of weeks.

Chris Gibson, reporting
cgibson@kltv.com

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