The New Testament is transplanted to Cape Town as a resistance fighter named Jesus meets a school teacher named Mary.
The first cinematic collaboration between Dornford-May and a Cape Town theatre group was an adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen. The second transplants the New Testament to the townships of contemporary South Africa.
In the war-torn Republic Of Judea, Mary (Malefane) is a school teacher who narrowly avoids being massacred with her students, and Jesus (Kosi) is a resistance leader. Pilate’s face greets us on fake newsreels and miracles are caught on handheld cameras, as a resolutely unsentimental choral score accompanies vivid shots of sunbaked faces who’ve seen it all.
This is the gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, with a bit of Baz Luhrmann thrown in.
A unique and successful idea that plays like the gospel according to Baz Luhrmann.