Italy unchains ‘Christ’

Controversial pic gets G rating

ROME — Italy has given “The Passion of the Christ” a general-admission rating, making the cradle of Catholicism the only country so far where Mel Gibson’s gory pic will go out unrestricted.

“We think that kids who have already received their first communion and know the Gospel also know exactly what Christ’s passion is,” said Ennio Varanelli, president of the commission that issued the G rating.

As for younger children, it will be up to families to decide, he added. “They all know its content perfectly well.”

“The Passion” will roll out on 600-plus screens April 7, Holy Wednesday, the final day of pre-Easter station-of-the-cross processions. Handling distribution will be Eagle Pictures, the first distrib to pick up the pic.

Largely Catholic Mexico recently gave “The Passion” an over-18 rating, whereas in Ireland it has been deemed suitable for 15 and above.

The rating comes one day after Italy’s national bishops conference gave “The Passion” the thumbs up. The generous G is all the more remarkable because it comes three weeks before pic’s release: Ratings are customarily ruled just a week in advance.

The rating system is rife with contradictions. “Hannibal,” which was rated R in the U.S., got a G here in 2001.

More Film

  • Genndy Tartakovsky Animator

    TV Animators Tooned Up for Big Screen Features

    ROME — Italy has given “The Passion of the Christ” a general-admission rating, making the cradle of Catholicism the only country so far where Mel Gibson’s gory pic will go out unrestricted. “We think that kids who have already received their first communion and know the Gospel also know exactly what Christ’s passion is,” said […]

  • get out Oscar Race

    Film News Roundup: 'Get Out' Named Top Film of 2017 by African American Film Critics Assn.

    ROME — Italy has given “The Passion of the Christ” a general-admission rating, making the cradle of Catholicism the only country so far where Mel Gibson’s gory pic will go out unrestricted. “We think that kids who have already received their first communion and know the Gospel also know exactly what Christ’s passion is,” said […]

  • From 'Lego Batman' to 'Ferdinand' to

    From 'Lego Batman' to 'Ferdinand' to 'Boss Baby,' These Actors Inspire the Animators

    ROME — Italy has given “The Passion of the Christ” a general-admission rating, making the cradle of Catholicism the only country so far where Mel Gibson’s gory pic will go out unrestricted. “We think that kids who have already received their first communion and know the Gospel also know exactly what Christ’s passion is,” said […]

  • Rose (ALLISON WILLIAMS) connects with boyfriend

    Jordan Peele Praises His 'Get Out' Below the Line Crew

    ROME — Italy has given “The Passion of the Christ” a general-admission rating, making the cradle of Catholicism the only country so far where Mel Gibson’s gory pic will go out unrestricted. “We think that kids who have already received their first communion and know the Gospel also know exactly what Christ’s passion is,” said […]

  • Best Picture Contenders The Shape of

    Oscars: Best Picture Field Shifts Into Focus

    ROME — Italy has given “The Passion of the Christ” a general-admission rating, making the cradle of Catholicism the only country so far where Mel Gibson’s gory pic will go out unrestricted. “We think that kids who have already received their first communion and know the Gospel also know exactly what Christ’s passion is,” said […]

  • Woody Harrelson Venom

    Woody Harrelson in Talks to Join Tom Hardy in 'Venom'

    ROME — Italy has given “The Passion of the Christ” a general-admission rating, making the cradle of Catholicism the only country so far where Mel Gibson’s gory pic will go out unrestricted. “We think that kids who have already received their first communion and know the Gospel also know exactly what Christ’s passion is,” said […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content