Aurum shows ‘Passion’

Pic to be released April 2 in Spain

MADRID — Spain’s Aurum has taken all Spanish rights to Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”

Pic will be released in its original Latin and Aramaic version with subtitles on April 2, coinciding with the first weekend of its Easter Holy Week. Aurum, which distributes “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, is looking to turn Gibson’s pic into a curious event movie.

While the Roman Catholic church still holds large power in Spain, churchgoing has plunged since the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. Most Spaniards use Holy Week to get down to the coast, but religious processions and TV reairings of classic religious movies are still popular.

“Passion” has also been picked up for Italy by Eagle Pictures.

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