TIFF 2016 Review: Jesus
The most surprising aspect of Jesus by Fernando Guzzoni is that the film doesn’t have religious purification on its mind, unless the idea of “Father, forgive me” is meant to be a representation of a search for guidance.
There is very little about the film that is expected, and right from the get-go, it takes us in surprising directions, (boy band competition, heterosexual encounters, homosexual encounters, and other forms of debauchery that are captured on-screen by Guzzoni in rugged explicitness. In the impression of this reviewer, the exercise is extremely dark, (in both senses of the word), but yet feels somewhat lived-in, and the performance of Nicholas Duran as the boy, and especially the one by Alejandro Goic as the father.
But it’s an act of horrific violence mid-film that will give pause to a scrubbed clean audience. The film is muddy, murky, and memorable, as the kind of depravity encountered in Jesus makes the film feel very much like a Chilean version of an American coming-of-age story. The film certainly stays in our head.