Son of God
MARCH 27 » 12:15p
MARCH 31 » 5:30p
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
2010, Philippines/Denmark, 70 min.
Directors: Khavn de la Cruz and Michael Noer
Cast: Ali Doron, Michael Noer, Kristine Kintana, Moises Santos
A dwarven, towheaded, Filipino Christ child, carried by burly, diaper-clad heralds, bellows in the din of a Black Nazarene parade that he is the son of God. He’s dressed like a baroque cherub and has magical hands that can tear away your cancer. His small form floats across a sea of thousands, whose hands reach towards religious curiosities like him that pepper the scene. His followers, clad in white, kneel and chant before him with stern fervor.
It’s a spectacle that’s at first quite foreign to many in North America, but upon further consideration is just a more exaggerated form of the kind of fevered pageantry observable in a charismatic church. Or outside of a Planned Parenthood. However, for the many millions of faithful in the Philippines, these brushes with the divine are a real and coveted part of daily life in a world without welfare. In the absence of resources is a high demand for miracles; the son of God has the market cornered in the marvel-making progeny-of-Christ department.
Amidst this religo-bonanza begins the curious journey of underground filmmaker Khavn and Danish documentarian Michael Noer. Starting with the premise of a docudrama, Son of God quickly derails and barrels towards a reality of mondo proportions, blurring the fact/fiction divide while cleverly commenting on Western notions of faith and superstition in the warmer climes.
With a sense of mild bemusement, Khavn and Noer follow the titular pint-sized prophet from the crowded streets of Manila to a jungle village where we watch this sun-kissed Christkind ascend, fall, and get reborn out of a vaginal mountain metaphor all over again. Noer breaks the fourth wall as an unexpected protagonist in this unfolding odyssey that’s at times tragicomic, surreal, and every so often evocative of Jodorowsky. You will never be certain of what’s real and what’s not, but, as is the case with faith, it’s really beside the point. This is not a film about the son of god. Or is it?
— Nicole McConvery
As with passion plays, carnival scenes are simultaneously divine and nightmarish. The Psycho-Fugue-Circus punisheth the wicked according to her wickedness.