France | 96 min.
2.35:1 OAR anamorphic
• New anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer in the original aspect ratio
• New and improved optional English subtitles
• Original French trailer
• Full-colour 40-page booklet including a lengthy interview with Dumont on the making of the film, and Dumont’s work-notes created during production, in new English translations.
Bruno Dumont, 1997
One of the great debut films of recent times, Bruno Dumont’s La vie de Jésus [The Life of Jesus] presents life’s brutality and exhilaration played out by turns within the quarters of a tiny Flemish country town. Here, positioned in relative isolation from the rest of so-called cultural Europe, the connections between individuals will take on a physical power inflected by boredom, by desperation, and by urges as raw as the earth.
Freddy and Marie (played by David Douche and Marjorie Cottreel in astonishing performances) are two teenagers with their futures uncertain and their present undefined. They ride motorbikes, they have sex — communication like any other sort. But in their hometown of Bailleul in Flanders, where news from the world-at-large disappears just as quickly as it drifts in, death proves to be inescapable, and decidedly permanent. As the film’s powerful climax unfolds, the viewer will come away with his or her own interpretation of how the life of Christ has figured into the story of Freddy and Marie — a contemplation on the magnitude of mercy.
With its frank, honest depictions of the body in the course of the sexual act, La vie de Jésus announced the emergence of a powerful philosophical intelligence — and a master of dramatic control — onto the scene of world cinema. Winner of the prestigious BFI Sutherland Trophy, Camera d’Or at Cannes, the Prix Jean Vigo, European Discovery of the Year at the European Film Awards, amongst many others, The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Bruno Dumont’s feature debut for the first time on home video in the UK in a director-approved edition.