+quot;The Last Temptation of Christ+quot;--Facts Origin of the Story Nikos Kazantzakis wro

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"The Last Temptation of Christ"--Facts Origin of the Story: Nikos Kazantzakis wrote a fictional novel, "The Last Temptation of Christ", for which he was excommunicated from the Greek Orthodox Church. The history of the film version: Paramount studios dropped the project in 1983 due, in part, to pressure from Christians. Director Martin Scorcese sold the idea to Universal Studios and produced a 10 million dollar version, "The Passion," which was finished in June 1988. Basis for evaluating the film's content: The original novel, two version of the script by Paul Schrader (one of which was represented by Universal as the "shooting script"), and an eyewitness account of the film as shown to Universal "insiders" provide a basis for evaluation. Content of the film that is offensive to Christians: (1)Mary declares that her son, Jesus, is "crazy" and "not well in the head." (2)Jesus is depicted as having "brain fever", "struggling over his sins", lust driven (especially for Mary Magdalene), confused, bedeviled by "nightmares and hallucinations," not able to answer basic questions about His identity, and shocked by His own magical powers. (3)There are clear references to a youthful sexual encounter between Jesus and Mary Magdalene in which Jesus did not loose his virginity. (4)Jesus is shown waiting in line a Mary Magdalene's brothel and entering the darkened room where she lies naked. (5)One scene shows copulating snakes, one of which speaks to Jesus in Mary Magdalene's voice. (6)In a dream sequence Jesus marries Mary Magdalene and has sex with her, kissing on or near her breasts, as an angel is invited by Jesus to watch. (7)Jesus convinces Judas to betray Him. (8)Jesus declares to Mary Magdalene, "...Woman is God's greatest work. And I worship you. God sleeps between you legs." Efforts to work with Universal to alter the film: Before the content of the film were really known, Universal hired a film producer and film marketing expert, Mr. Tim Penland, a believing Christian, to "build bridges to the Christian community." Mr Penland was joined by a "secret consultant," Dr. Larry Poland, with expertise in the dynamics and structure of the evangelical Christian community. Universal promised to invite Christian leaders to a mid- June screening "far in advance of the release date" and sent invitation letters confirming this. Martin Scorcese assured questioners that he was making a "faith affirming" film and that Jesus would be depicted "as sinless, as deity, and as the savior of the world." Based on these assurances, Christian leaders agreed to "hold their fire" on the film until its contents could be more clearly determined. Breakdown of relations with Universal: As the date for the screening for Christian leaders drew near, Universal "waffled" on its commitment. A "bootleg script" was spirited out of Universal by a studio employee and fell into the hands of Christian leaders. Universal execs then declared that "the Christians can't stop us from releasing this film." Mr. Penland, true to his original statement to Universal that he would terminate his relationship "the minute it was determined that the film was blasphemous to Christ or it was viewed as destructive to the cause of Christ," resigned effective June 12, 1988. Indications that Universal hopes to profit from the Christian controversy: The executives at Universal decided to make prints of the film in 70 millimeter, instead of the usual 35 millimeter, so it could be shown in the biggest theatres in America. They screened the finished script in early June for their distribution people with indications that they expected a box office bonanza. They are adjusting the timing of the release apparently to capitalize on the height of controversy. Present state of protest by Christians: Christian leaders have refused to attend any screening by Universal based on the disclosures of the content. They are mounting a nation wide effort involving hundreds of Christian groups and costing millions of dollars to mobilize national pressure to stop the release of the film. They don't want impressionable viewers to receive a twisted view of Christ that will keep them from faith in the historic Jesus. To Participate in the Protest: 1. Pray! * For the key figures at MCA - Universal listed below, that God will show Himself to them in a powerful way, convincing the to kill the film. * For Christians employed by various divisions of MCA - Universal that they will have the boldness to stand against this release at every level. * For judgement on those perpetrating blasphemy against our Lord. * For protection of those who might have their faith stolen by this film. * Thanking God for turning this situation into a great victory for the faith. 2. Create pressure on key figures to stop the release--lovingly but firmly. Call or write more than once: * MCA-Universal, 100 Universal City Plaza Blvd., Universal City, CA 91608 * MCA-Universal headquarters phone: 818 777-1000 * Lew Wasserman, MCA Chairman of the Board (at Universal City) * Sidney Sheinberg, MCA President (at Universal City) * Tom Pollack, Chairman of the board, Universal Pictures (at Universal City) * Eugene Giaquinto, head of home video division * Felix G. Rohatyn, Investment Banker, MCA Director * Robert S. Strauss, Former Chairman, National Democratic Party, MCA Director * Donald Trump, New York developer, major MCA shareholder and possible MCA buyer 3. Contact heads of local divisions of MCA owned businesses indicating that you will not patronize their businesses if Universal releases a film defaming your Lord. Ask your local managers to protest the release to the heads of MCA. * Universal Studio Tour, restaurants, gift shops, and hotels (at Universal City) * Universal Studios, Orlando Florida * Cineplex Odeon theaters nationwide * WWOR-TV Secaucaus, NJ * LJN Toys * Spencer Gifts - Located in many shopping malls and retail centers nationwide. * Intrigue retail jewelry stores and kiosks * A2Z-Best of Everything Shops 4. If the film is released, organize a prayer vigil at the theater, witness to those attending and share materials that give the true picture of Christ. 5. If you are an employee of MCA-Universal, protest to your superiors about this film and, if led to do so, threaten resignation if the film is released. This fact sheet is provided by Mastermedia International, 2102 Palm Ave., Highland, CA 92346, 714-864-5250. Duplicate and distribute this sheet. Contributions not solicited but accepted.


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