Recipient of the 2012 MacMillan-Stewart Fellowship and one of the most arresting and accomplished of contemporary French filmmakers, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche returns to the Harvard Film Archive to present his latest work which revisits the passion of Christ by reinterpreting the role of Judas. – David Pendleton
Special thanks: Emmanuelle Marchand—Consulate General of France, Boston; Amélie Garin-Davet—Film Office, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, New York.
$12 Special Event Tickets
Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche in person
Saturday November 5 at 7pm
Directed by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche. With Nabil Djedouani, Mohamed Aroussi, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche
France 2015, DCP, color, 99 min. French with English subtitles
Ameur-Zaïmeche’s work is always preoccupied with the joys and costs of comradeship and the pain of its absence, solitude. Here he focuses on the relationship between Jesus and Judas to present the latter not as a traitor but as a loyal friend and disciple of the former’s teaching at its most radical and iconoclastic. As always, Ameur-Zaïmeche is a filmmaker whose overarching virtue is a directness that is both intellectual and emotional. For instance, the film’s dialogue is straightforward, neither painstakingly “periodized” nor ostentatiously anachronistic. Similarly, his strong visual sense is communicated through images that are not elaborately composed but are exquisitely lit with a painterly cinematography while at the same time shot with a directness that allows for handheld camera. The result is a return to the story of Jesus forged with the kind of burning simplicity that drives Pasolini's The Gospel According to Matthew.
After making his international reputation with three trenchant, heartfelt films about contemporary France and Algeria in a multi-cultural world, this, his fifth film, is his second period piece in a row. It is still recognizably a work by Ameur-Zaïmeche: images filled with rugged beauty, in homage to human freedom in the face of dogma, superstition and political and economic oppression.
DCP courtesy Sarrazink Productions.