Jesus Christ Saviour (4 stars)

This article is from 2008.

Jesus Christ Saviour

(Peter Geyer, Germany) 84min

At the beginning of Werner Herzog’s engrossing documentary homage to his favourite actor and nemesis Klaus Kinski, My Best Fiend, there is a tantalising glimpse of Kinski performing his infamous 1971 Jesus concert. Finally we have an opportunity to watch the great German actor’s infamous stage performance in full as director and Kinski aficionado Peter Geyer has discovered and assembled most of the existing footage to create this definitive record of the theatrical extravaganza.

It’s engrossing to see Kinski try and fail to tell a sceptical audience the revolutionary credentials of Jesus Christ, a man with whom the actor clearly identifies a bit too closely. The camera adores Kinski and he’s mesmerising, while the finale that sees Kinski deliver his monologue to an empty stadium is haunting.

Filmhouse, Wed 25 Jun, 10pm; Thu 26 Jun, 10.15pm, £8 (£6.40).

Jesus Christ Saviour

  • 4 stars
  • 2008
  • Germany
  • 1h 24min
  • E
  • Directed by: Peter Geyer

Klaus Lninski's infamous stage performance in which he tries and fails to tell a sceptical audience the revolutionary credentials of Jesus Christ, a man with whom he clearly identifies a bit too closely.


1. SteveC26 Jun 2008, 11:48am4 stars Jesus Christ Saviour Report

No matter how uncomfortable you feel, stick with it. This is not so much a movie as an ultra-rare document and portrait of Kinski doing something relatively unknown and previously unseen by anyone outside of Germany.

The Director Peter Geyer and Kinskie's son, Nikoli were at wednesday nights EIFF screening and gave the audience a fairly heated Q&A session afterwards.

Despite Kinski's powerful presence and disturbed performance by several hecklers, the film realies on the fact that it is one of the only visual documents of this kind of performance by Kinski. The Q&A session was a great addition to the film, even though Geyer was obsessed with, and reapeatedly mentioned the result of 3-2 to Germany against Turkey in the evenings earlier Euro 2008 Semifinal.

Without giving away the magic that happens in the 'epilogue' - you cannot walk out like so many did, or dissappear as soon as the credits run, because althought you beleive by the end that Kinski has failed in his performance, something rather incredible happens after the credits roll and the film gathers it meaning and power from this alone.

See it for the uncomfortable cinematic experience as well a historical document. If you stick around you'll be affected by Kinski's rage, perserverence and determination and you'll be talking about it for days - do not see this picture alone or you might just go a bit mad if you have to keep it all to your self. Superb.

Post a comment

RSS feed of these comments