The movie has received an R rating because it is extremely graphic and violent; therefore, students under the age of 17 will not get into the movie unless accompanied by an adult.
The movie is in Aramaic and Latin; it has English subtitles. (By the way, Gibson says his film is "historically accurate." You should know that Aramaic and Greek were languages of this period-not Latin).
Why are Jews concerned about the movie? The film is a modern Passion Play, a dramatization of the trials, suffering and death of Jesus, based on the Gospels, stories found in the New Testament. Passion Plays have been around since the Middle Ages and have been used by Christians as an inspirational way for them to express their faith. Unfortunately, over the centuries, the way the Gospels were interpreted led to a charge that the Jews killed Jesus. This has led to Jew hatred and even murder.
Is the film historically accurate? While some Christians consider the Gospels the "word" of G-d, they were written long after Jesus' death and therefore are not historical documentation in the modern sense. The Romans were in control of Judea when Jesus was killed, not the Jews. The Jews had no control over Jesus' death. Crucifixion (nailing a person to a wooden cross until they died) was a Roman-not Jewish-form of punishment. The Romans killed thousands of Jews in this manner.
Does the film reflect Christian teachings? In 1965 the Catholic Church adopted "Vatican II" which acknowledged that the Jews should not be held responsible for Jesus' death. The church also adopted guidelines for how Passion Plays should be staged, to ensure that the productions wouldn't promote or reinforce prejudice and hatred against the Jews. Gibson is a "Traditionalist" Catholic, a small minority group which rejects Vatican II. His film does not adhere to these guidelines.
Is this a "Christian vs. Jew" issue? NO!! Many Christian scholars and clergy fully support Jewish concerns about this movie. The Jews have not created this controversy. From the very beginning interfaith scholars who reviewed Gibson's initial scripts privately advised him of the problems. Gibson has manufactured and fueled a controversy to ensure his film's success