On early reception of the film: yes it caused a stir, so much so that
someone (a group of people?) put out a film in response to its racism.
I saw only a clip from the response film in a film class last fall--
jesus is being crucified for everyone's sins. It's interesting,
perhaps, for the line of discussion here, that the response film is
not at all as aesthetically slick as Birth. Sorry, I can't remember
the film's title--can anyone else out there remember it?