The Life Of Jesus

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

First-time director Bruno Dumont brilliantly captures the universal language of small-town despair through the character of Freddy (David Douche), whose aimless wanderlust sends him zooming on his motorbike through the countryside outside Bailleul, a dreary, desolate town in northern France. Freddy, who's chronically unemployed and suffers epileptic fits,...read more

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Reviewed by Sandra Contreras
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First-time director Bruno Dumont brilliantly captures the universal language of small-town despair through the character of Freddy (David Douche), whose aimless wanderlust sends him zooming on his motorbike through the

countryside outside Bailleul, a dreary, desolate town in northern France. Freddy, who's chronically unemployed and suffers epileptic fits, lives with his mother (Genevieve Cottreel), who owns a cafe. His father is nowhere to be seen, but Freddy has a beautiful girlfriend named Marie (Marjorie

Cottreel); the frequent sex scenes between Freddy and Marie are physically and psychologically raw, graphically photographed without the artifice that characterizes such interludes in Hollywood films. Though Freddy looks like any other petty European white supremacist and is generally surly and

uncommunicative, he's devoted to Marie and his hobby: Training his pet chaffinch to compete in chirping competitions, a tradition in the north of France. But he's bored and directionless, and hangs out with a crew of like-minded, similarly pasty-faced pals: Michou (Samuel Boidin), Quinquin

(Sebastien Bailleul), Gege (Sebastien Delbaere) and Robert (Steve Smagghe). They get into real trouble when they mock a young North African Arab, Kader (Kader Chaatouf) and his family, and pull down the panties of a fat girl during band practice. Undaunted by Freddy's thuggish crew, Kader pursues

Marie; when Freddy realizes he's losing her, his mounting frustration builds to murderous proportions. Harsh and unsparing, Dumont's all-too-believable film charts with breath taking precision the distance between the unencumbered beauty of moving through space and the agony of inexorably falling

to earth.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: First-time director Bruno Dumont brilliantly captures the universal language of small-town despair through the character of Freddy (David Douche), whose aimless wanderlust sends him zooming on his motorbike through the countryside outside Bailleul, a drea… (more)

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