Judah Maccabee: as told by Mel Gibson

By Jennifer Lipman
September 9, 2011

What could possibly go wrong?

Who wouldn't want to see a film about a celebrated Jewish warrior made by a man who has made his views on just how nasty those Jews are pretty darn clear?

Mel Gibson as Haman, I could work with.

Mel Gibson as King Pharaoh (complete with bad Egyptian accent). OK. Mel Gibson as Nebuchadnezzar, or Titus, or Lavan. Totally down with that.

But Judah Maccabee? Possible the most awesome of all the Jewish heroes? The Hammer? The guy who purified the Temple and saved the festival of lights for doughnut-lovers everywhere?

With Mel Gibson's gentle and sensitive touch, I can't wait to see how this inspirational figure of Jewish lore will be recast.

A guerrilla or a terrorist, perhaps, fighting the long-suffering Greek state? A double-agent, working against his Greek countrymen? Or just a man with daddy issues?

It's great that Hollywood wants to borrow from Jewish texts. These stories are wondreful, the material ripe and vibrant. All the classic themes are there, good versus evil, suspense and intrigue, family loyalty and a community coming together in crisis.

In other words, perfect for Steven Spielberg.


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