Noted Hollywood Actor
Continues “Hollywood Double Standard”
(Remnant News Watch
March 31, 2010)
by Mark Alessio
REMNANT COLUMNIST, New York
Mary Magdalene (Barbara Hersey), Jesus
Christ (Willem Defoe) and
Judas (Harvey Keitel) in the viciously
Christophobic The Last
Temptation of Christ
On February 11, 2010 actor Harvey Keitel hosted a lunch in
New York City, during which he spoke about Quentin
Tarantino’s World War II film, “Inglourious Basterds.” (New
York Daily News, Feb. 12, 2010).
"You have to have the courage and the convictions," said
Keitel, who has an uncredited voice cameo in Tarantino’s
film. "When we started to make the movie, people said to me,
‘Oh my God, the idea of these Jewish guys killing the Nazis!
You're going to have trouble with this and this and this’"
Keitel went on to say, “I called the head of the
and I called
Wiesel, and I showed
them the script. Then I showed them the movie, and they
said, 'We love it!'"
In a February 18, 2010 article at The Huffington Post,
Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation
League, declared, “Like its predecessors Schindler's List
and Life is Beautiful, Inglourious Basterds should be
recognized with an Academy Award.”
Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, found
the film to be “quite exciting …. quite ingenious.”
Tarantino, unlike Keitel, saw no need to defend his film,
which was written over a ten-year period. "I don't really
think about it too much," he said. "I do the stories that I
do, and some people don't like them. But that just makes me
think that I'm doing my own thing – I would never defend my
It is interesting that Harvey Keitel felt enough concern
about the possibility of offending Jewish sensibilities that
he sought the favor and approval of the ADL and Elie Wiesel.
This same Harvey Keitel portrayed Judas in Martin Scorsese’s
“The Last Temptation of Christ,” a film which portrayed
Jesus as a confused mystic, plagued by migraines and filled
with guilt for having driven Mary Magdalene to prostitution
by not having “made an honest woman of her” (i.e. marrying
her)! The film also featured a fantasy sex scene between
Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Funny, isn’t it, that Mr. Keitel
(who must surely have understood the “controversial” nature
of that script) did not run docilely to
any Catholic groups, concerned about offending Catholic
sensibilities and begging for an imprimatur.
Mr. Keitel also appeared in the film, “The Bad Lieutenant.”
This one featured the graphic rape of a nun on a church
altar by some crack-heads, a scene so brutal that one online
reviewer described it as “57 agonizing seconds that seem
like 5 minutes.” No problem there, right, Harvey?
No, scenes of Jesus Christ having sex and the graphic rape
of a nun on an altar are business as usual, but Mr. Keitel
worries that Jewish sensibilities will be offended by a
movie about – heroic Jewish soldiers! Figure that one out.
Even before the premier of The Passion of The Christ, many
Jewish and “Catholic” activists complained that Mel Gibson’s
film would be historically inaccurate. They chastised him
for combining Gospel accounts and using extra-Scriptural
sources (i.e., the writings of Anne Catherine Emmerich).
This was supposed to destroy the historical credibility of
the film. However, both Foxman and Hier are unconcerned with
the fact that, in Inglourious Basterds, Hitler and his top
German officials are successfully killed by the titular
characters, blown to bits in a trap set in a movie theater.
They do not feel that the true history of World War II is
trivialized by this distortion.
In this case, Foxman and Hier actually got it right.
Tarantino’s film is neither a documentary nor a
dramatization of actual events. It is an action film, a
revenge fantasy set during World War II. This is evident
when the film opens with the legend, “Once upon a time in
Nazi-occupied France.” As such it must be taken on its
own terms. And many Jewish viewers have, understandably,
done so with relish. In an August 26, 2009 article at The
Huffington Post, Rabbi Irwin Kula, President of The National
Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, wrote:
to simply terrorize Nazis and after killing them, to scalp
them! I have no idea what gentiles will experience while
seeing this movie (and I really am sorry to cluster all
gentiles together, especially since Aldo Raine [the
character portrayed by Brad Pitt], part Apache Tennessee
hillbilly with twang, is not a Jew), but if I'm really
honest, this Jew felt twinges of excitement, thrills, chills
he's never felt before seeing violence. I don't even go to
action films, yet alone violent movies, as they've always
turned my stomach. But this one turned me on (though when I
awoke the morning after, I had this strange sense of
embarrassment over having gotten so into it). Unfortunately,
I really enjoyed it!
Kula doth protest too loudly. No one has suggested that
Jewish viewers would watch “Inglourious Basterds” and then
start assaulting German people. That would have been
considered an insult, would it not? Yet, before The Passion
of The Christ hit the screens, some Jewish scholars, such as
author Paula Fredriksen of Boston University, predicted that
the film would trigger anti-Jewish violence. Stop and ponder
that for a moment. What were those activists really
saying? They were saying that Catholics and Protestants are
so inherently barbaric, so vicious and stupid, that the
simple act of viewing a film could unleash a bloodlust that
must be held in check quite poorly to be set off so easily.
course, no such violent incidents occurred, but we have yet
to hear any apologies for the insult. Apparently, apologies
are only necessary when proffered by Catholics.
unfortunate that the same leeway granted to Quentin
Tarantino was not granted to Mel Gibson. Foxman, Hier, Kula
and company calmly accept both Tarantino’s premise and
approach to his story. At its Israeli premier, Inglourious
Basterds “elicited cheers and hearty rounds of applause,”
according to Haaretz (Sept. 16, 2009). Tarantino, who was
present, was given a standing ovation. Sara Miller of
Haaretz wrote: “Like Madonna and her devotion to all things
kosher, Tarantino's latest movie should ensure him a warm
welcome in the Jewish state, now and for many years to
come.” Harvey Keitel had nothing to worry about.
difference. During the Passion hysteria, the film was placed
deliberately at the wrong end of a telescope, stuffed into a
tiny box and turned into something that it was not. The
title of the film said it all. It was about the Salvific
Passion of “the Lamb of God … Him who taketh away the sin of
the world.” But the activists turned it into a film about
Jewish priests, about Roman politicians, about anything but
its true subject.
ADL’s Abraham Foxman wrote, “What you see and hear for two
hours is the Jews, the Jews, the Jews.” What movie was he
Another critic, Rabbi Michael Pinz, observed, “The worst was
the assistant chief priest, the fellow with the hook nose
and the ugly gleam in his eye.” They were even coming down
on the physical appearances of the actors – many of who
were Italian! Hey, if Pinz is concerned with hooknoses,
I’ll show him some photographs of my relatives back in
Italy, where he can gasp at some truly impressive beaks.
And, what do you know, no one there cares.
film-critic Michael Medved wrote, “If the [Passion] becomes
a hit, the overwrought Jewish critics of the film will have
succeeded only in demonstrating their irrelevance.”
Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds was designed to have
audiences rooting and cheering. It is in the very nature of
the revenge fantasy to satisfy a desire for retribution, and
no one would deny audiences – Jewish or otherwise – their
enjoyment. However, when the Passion premiered, we were
bombarded with lecture after lecture on the unreliability of
the Gospels, the vindictiveness of the Evangelists who wrote
them and the cruel history of the Church that preserved
them. The simple fact that viewers were rejoicing in a film
honoring the Supreme Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that they –
no less than the viewers of Inglourious Basterds – were
experiencing a film that spoke to their hearts and
experiences, never occurred to the bloated gasbags.
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