Kyle Cubr reviews “The Brand New Testament” for this week’s Cine-File

subtext-eye

God exists in human-manifestation form, and he lives in Brussels with his wife and daughter, Ea. In this modern take on the Bible, God is depicted in Old Testament form, primarily as a cynical, sadistic overseer of humanity who affects humanity via his personal computer. When Ea discovers her father’s secret, she reveals its truths to all (including the date upon which everyone will die) and runs away to become a modern day Jesus. Dormael’s film is darkly funny and one that explores Christianity from a 21st Century perspective, mainly through the scopes of disenfranchisement and sarcasm. What’s most amusing about the film’s tilt on modern faith is the depiction of God as a grumpy writer who relishes in tormenting others as opposed to the usual omniscient, benevolent figure seen in multiple religious works. Sequences featuring Ea recruiting her new apostles often showcase mankind’s inherent flaws but also raise interesting metaphysical questions. THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENT is a cheeky take on what would happen if God lived in modern times and what sort of impact this would have on humanity if everyone were in on the revelations.

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