The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

The Friday Flashback: Let's Go Out to Protest the Movies

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 29, 2011 8:20PM

Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ, based on Nikos Kazantzakis's novel of the same name, looked at the life of Christ from the main character's perspective and posited that, although Christ was without sin, he wasn't immune to temptation. The film was met with a flurry of protests when it was released in 1988 because it depicted Christ imagining himself engaged in sexual activity, which naturally outraged more than a few Christians. The film's release in 1988 sparked a rash of protests across the country. Chicago was no exception.

According to the Tribune, "675 shouting, placard-waving demonstrators picketed in front of the Biograph Theater." What we found most surprising was reading that Muslims also picketed the film.

Outside the Biograph was a group of 25 to 30 Moslems from the Islamic Circle of North America, carrying a sign reading ``Islam for Dignity of Jesus.``

``Christ showed us the right way,`` said Irfan Sarwar, one of the group.

``We believe in Jesus as a prophet, but, still, prophets don`t commit any sins.``

With the anti-Muslim sentiment of the post 9-11 political climate, we have a hard time envisioning this would happen. We also doubt The Last Temptation of Christ would be released in this time and day. A film based on the life of Charles Darwin produced by BBC Films two years ago starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly couldn't find a U.S. distributor because they found the subject material too controversial. A Gallup poll conducted at that same time showed 39 percent of American respondents believed in the Theory of Evolution. We aren't surprised, since we still have people who doubt the President of the United States was born on American soil two days after provided irrefutable proof -- again.

These photographs from a new Chicagoist photos flickr contributor named John Harrold, give a glimpse not only of Chicago 23 years ago, but America.