Monday, March 16, 2009

Lenten movie review

For about 10 years now, it has been a tradition of mine to watch the movie Jesus of Montreal during Lent. It's a great film, winning a number of awards and being nominated for the foreign language Oscar in 1990.

The quick summary is that a troupe of actors is asked to write and perform a passion play in Montreal. Their decidedly liberal and unorthodox approach brings on the ire of the church and eventually the public. Meanwhile, the lives of the actors mirror the characters they play, setting the passion story in the modern world. At the end, there's a gorgeous scene in the subway (hence the movie's poster) that includes one of the more beautiful soprano duets you'll ever hear in a movie.

I first watched the movie in college as part of a class assignment. Half the joy of the movie was trying to spot all of the Biblical references and their echoes in the modern story. It's worth watching with a group of people to discuss afterwards! It can definitely spark a great conversation about Lent and Easter.

Yes, you do have to accept a film with subtitles, as well as some partial nudity and violence. (On the other hand, Mel Gibson's version of the crucifixion makes this film seem tame by comparison.) Also, like many religious movies, it uses a straw man of the established church as its antagonist.

You can read more about Jesus of Montreal here, and I know it's available through Netflix and several area libraries. Let me know if you see it; I'd love to know what people think of it!

1 comment:

  1. It has been too long since I've seen this movie, and I'm not sure that Chris ever has. I may need to rent it since my lenten discipline is a bit derailed this year. Thanks for the reminder!