Jesus of Montreal
(Jésus de Montréal)

Screening on Film
Directed by Denys Arcand.
With Lothaire Bluteau, Catherine Wilkening, Robert Lepage.
Canada/France, 1989, 35mm, color, 119 min.
French with English subtitles.
Print source: HFA

Winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Jesus of Montreal is a political satire that employs a most unusual vehicle for social critique—the Passion Play. Set in a prominent Montreal basilica, the film follows the efforts of a young actor (Bluteau) who has been hired to revitalize the church’s decrepit version of this most sacred performance. A hit with the public, the production takes an unexpected twist as the cast members begin to identify with their roles and modern parallels start to appear in their off-stage lives. This play-within-the-film structure provides Arcand with material for some devastating observations on contemporary media, bureaucracy, and organized religion.

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