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La Vie de Jesus (The Life of Jesus)

Since his 1997 debut with The Life of Jesus, Bruno Dumont has become one of European cinema’s most unsettling and provocative auteurs, but his films also display a profound empathy for their characters, which are often played by non-actors culled from Dumont’s home region in the north of France. Dumont burst onto the scene with this film, premiering at the Cannes Film Festival and garnering the Camera d’Or award for best first feature. In out-of-the-way, small-town north of France, teenager Freddy (David Douche) and his friends spends their days wastefully, roaming the countryside looking for trouble. Freddy, an epileptic, dates Marie (Marjorie Cottreel), but other than their strangely intense lovemaking and Freddy’s periodic seizures, boredom rules their lives and their futures lack the promise offered by Europe’s metropolises. Kader (Kader Chaatouf), a new arrival to town who happens to be of Arab descent, immediately shows intense and persistent interest in Marie, leading the two young men, not yet adults, down a potentially tragic path. Shot in stunning Cinemascope widescreen and featuring assured performances from its entirely non-actor cast, The Life of Jesus remains shockingly relevant today. “Luminous and disconcerting.”—Variety.  Imported 35mm print!

Genres: Drama

Other Films by Bruno Dumont

Jeannette, The Childhood of Joan of Arc

France, 1425. In the midst of the Hundred Years’ War, 8-year-old Jeannette looks after her sheep in the small village of Domremy. One day, she tells a friend how she cannot bear to see the suffering caused by the English. Madame Gervaise, a nun, tries to reason with the young girl, but Jeannette is ready