|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Le tout nouveau Testament|
|Direction:||Jaco Van Dormael|
|Production country:||Belgien/Frankreich/Luxembourg 2015|
|Running time:||Approx. 115 min.|
|Rated:||From 12 years|
He does exist! God exists. And he doesn't live in heaven on a cloud. No, he looks down on us from a dreary high-rise apartment in Brussels, where God (Benoit Poelvoorde) lives with his wife (Yolande Moreau) and daughter Éa (Pili Groyne). Most of the day, God sits at his computer thinking of new commandments with which to drive his flock mad. And if the boredom is really big, there has to be a natural disaster or a new war. At some point Éa gets fed up with her father's whims, which he also takes out on her. She hacks into God's computer and lets everyone know the date of her death. This has drastic consequences on how people view her life, her faith, and her conflicts. While Èa sneaks out of the apartment for the first time in her life amid the chaos to search the earth for six more apostles, her angry father tries to restore his original order. But to do so, he too must mingle.
Is it okay to laugh at religion? It's a question that is sadly all too topical and hugely explosive at the moment. But The Brand New Testament shows how it can be done: the film combines originality, pitch-black humour and poetry into a wonderful whole that not only lets the viewer laugh at religion, but also encourages a critical examination of the world's religions. In the process, people's faith is not mocked, but rather its misuse. Sure, those who generally have a problem with being able to laugh about religion and for whom movies like The Life of Brian or Dogma are pure blasphemy, will probably also have a problem with this imaginative satire. But if you're a bit more open-minded in that regard, and like tongue-in-cheek humor and playful imagery, you're in for a truly wonderful, literally divinely amusing film.
The scenes alone showing how differently people deal with knowing when they're going to die are just great. There's one side character in particular who becomes the running gag of the film. Of course we won't tell you more, but whenever this character appears, there won't be a dry eye in the house. That's a promise! The six new apostles and how they deal with the realization of their mortality are highlighted episodically. Not all of these individual parts work equally well here. There are wonderful moments that go to the heart. There are funny moments that put a smile on the viewer's face. But there are also arguably over-the-top moments where a little less really would have been more.
Also, director Jaco Van Dormael could definitely be accused of borrowing quite obviously from other colleagues for some of his ideas. But despite a few weak scenes, some minor lengths and some obviously stolen ideas, the film as a whole is so successful in all its aspects that the weaknesses are completely pushed into the background as a result. You can get lost in the imaginative imagery here, revel in the obvious love of life, and surrender to the disarming, bittersweet humor. And in the end, it's clear that The Brand New Testament conveys a truly meaningful message with all of this: It doesn't matter at all if or in whom or what we believe - we only have this one life on our earth. And we should not waste it with hatred, greed or prejudice, but enjoy it in every moment. And this unusual and wonderful film definitely offers pure enjoyment. For this there is a very clear: Absolutely worth seeing!!!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp