AN Italian film showing Jesus Christ drinking Coca-Cola sparked such strong protest from...Who? The Vatican? Ordinary Catholics? Those 'nutty neo-cons from the US religious right'?
"...the soft-drinks giant that it blocked the film's Easter weekend premiere.In whose eyes is not made clear in this story.
The film, 7km from Jerusalem, is about an Italian advertising executive who is soul searching after losing his job and marriage. He flies to Jerusalem, where he runs into Jesus.
According to local press reports, he offers the returned Christ a can of Coca-Cola and, seeing Jesus drinking the beverage, thinks: "What a testimonial!"
Apparently Coca-Cola disagreed.
"The multinational's Italian unit sent a legal letter forcing the elimination of the scene in which Jesus drinks the well-known beverage," the producers said on the film's website, http://blog.7kmdagerusalemme.it/dblog/.
Italian media reported that the company felt that the use of its brand was unacceptable and could get the company a bad image."
Certainly not for many Christians I would hope because 7km From Jerusalem is a parable and Jesus' three year ministry was replete with them.
The story of a man searching for truth, meaning and comfort and finding it in Christ is something we see too little of in today's entertainment and a story that helps us look at this in a fresh way is to be applauded not protested.
This point is made clear by Eric Hogue's column on the web site Crosswalk:
This scene (and I'm hoping the movie) is filled with metaphors. The dusty, determined trail to Jerusalem and Jesus' destination - a location that would lead to his ultimate sacrifice - with a driver who is seeking the answer for life's empty promises. Who is hitching for a ride in this man's mid-life Jeep, the answer to life entirety himself.Indeed.
Like the untouchable woman at the well, Jesus asks for a drink and the mid-lifer offers what he has, a Coke. As Jesus takes a swig, some humor hits the script with an honest mention of intended 'product placement', as the providers of life's living water takes a gulp. Here is Jesus, the 'real thing', drinking the world's temporary, thirst quenching 'real thing'. What a gift, who is writing this stuff?
Hollywood used to be capable of doing the same thing, although sadly the big studio's wellspring of inspiration has run dry, leaving it independent filmmakers to quench our thirst for something more substantial.