Sunday, February 18, 2018

The wine of a punishment*


Easter was a big event in my village and the little cinema pulled out all the stops so it was non-stop religious movies. One of the perennial favourites was The Ten Commandments. Gerald King went to that and said he reached late so he only saw eight. The Robe was not yet worn out and every year was taken off the peg, dusted and shown to an appreciative audience of older folk. Ben Hur’s chariot swung low and descended annually to great excitement and applause, especially from the “pit” or cheap seats. The biggie for the church people was The Passion Play, a French film made in 1903. I was persuaded—forced, really—to watch it with the rest of my class and as we came out of the cinema, one of the bigger boys, perhaps in jest, said loudly, “Passion play? Dey call dat passion play? Joseph didn’t even kiss Mary and dey talking about passion play!”

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