One of the great debut films of recent times, Bruno Dumont's La vie de Jesus presents life's brutality and exhilaration played out by turns within the quarters of a tiny Flemish country town. Here, positioned in relative isolation from the rest of so-called cultural Europe, the connections between individuals will take on a physical power inflected by boredom, by desperation, and by urges as raw as the earth. Freddy and Marie are two teenagers with their futures uncertain and their present undefined. They ride motorbikes, they have sex communication like any other sort. But in their hometown of Bailleul in Flanders, where news from the world-at-large disappears just as quickly as it drifts in, death proves to be inescapable, and decidedly permanent. As the film's powerful climax unfolds, the viewer will come away with his or her own interpretation of how the life of Christ has figured into the story of Freddy and Marie a contemplation on the magnitude of mercy. With its frank, honest depictions of the body in the course of the sexual act, La vie de Jesus announced the emergence of a powerful philosophical intelligence and a master of dramatic control onto the scene of world cinema.
David Douche, Marjorie Cottreel, Kader Chaatouf, Sébastien Delbaere, Samuel Boidin, Steve Smagghe, Sébastien Bailleul, Geneviève Cottreel, Suzanne Berteloot, Hélène Blaevoet, Madame Chaatouf, Monsieur Chaatouf, Harmonie de Bailleul
i find some of bruno dumont's films charming, compelling and convincing, others i find plain dull. this is a good'un, really enjoyed it, and in additon to the appeal of the characters i love the sense of something deeper going on beneath the surface.
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Reviewed by: pete b
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