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Coke finds Jesus movie scene hard to swallow April 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies.

An Italian film showing Jesus Christ drinking Coca-Cola has sparked such strong protest from the soft drink giant that it blocked the film’s Easter weekend premiere.

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 give the company a bad image. Director Claudio Malaponti said that if further talks were unsuccessful, the scene would indeed be cut.

“This recasting requires about 20 days and the hope is to be able to have it in cinemas by the end of April,” Malaponti was quoted as saying on the website. A preview of the film can be seen on the movie’s website: http://www.7kmdagerusalemme.it/media/trailer.htm.

It is not the first time that a controversial film about Jesus was meant to open just before the Easter holiday. Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, which depicted Christ’s scourging and crucifixion in blood-dripping detail, opened across Europe just before Easter 2004.

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