The Last Temptation of Christ ★★★★

Growing up in a conservative Catholic environment, this film was often synonymous with blasphemy or disrespect of Christianity. Certainly it takes great liberties with the New Testament-- if nothing else, S/Paul and Jesus were not contemporaries-- and I wouldn't scoff at someone finding the idea of Jesus making a living constructing crosses to be offensive. That being said, this is holistically the best artistic portrayal of Jesus I've ever seen. It dares to make him relatable. The air of divine distance that Jesus is usually portrayed with is non-existent. He hurts his loved ones. He fears. He doubts. He gets angry at god. And, most importantly, he *earns* the title of Messiah. I was really taken by the overlap of spirituality and politics in the film: how they bolster each other, but also fight for priority. As someone for whom both of those things are important factors in my life, I often wonder at what point I would sacrifice my life for my beliefs. To be honest, I'm not sure. I don't even know that I have the courage to do so at any point. The Last Temptation of Christ didn't change my stance, but seeing the person who is most famous for doing just that struggle and almost fail, was undeniably moving. I started out thinking this was a pretentious mess with an off-putting score and an irritatingly white cast (and I still think those things to a certain extent), but moreover, I'm glad I stuck it out.