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Last Days in the Desert

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After 40 days of fasting in the desert, Jeshua (Ewan McGregor) makes his way to Jerusalem. He meets a man who is in the process of building a small house with his son for his family. Jeshua, a trained carpenter, helps them and as a messiah-to-be he also takes on their worries and hardships. The father (Ciarán Hinds) and his son (Tye Sheridan, ENTERTAINMENT) are going through a typical conflict: the father is a pighead who wants to keep his family together and the son wants to pave his own path and learn a trade in Jerusalem. They are bound by their worry for their wife/mother but the men fail at communicating. Jeshua wants to mediate but keeps finding himself in dialogue with the devil (also McGregor) who doesn’t care about abiding to his father’s plan. He asks himself what the old man was even thinking because it seems like this isn’t the first time the world has been at this point.

LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT is the counter-project to Mel Gibson’s black metal video adaptation THE PASSION OF CHRIST. Gibson’s penchant for brutality and suffering was hidden behind half-hearted sanctimonious masks while García has a more meditative and emotional approach. All the characters in the film, including the devil, yearn for closeness and lose themselves in ruminations and soliloquies. The biblical aspect is less important than the human conflict. Jeshua could be one of many itinerant preachers if the audience didn’t already know he was actually the son of god. The fantastic landscape shots by Emmanuel Lubezki (GRAVITY, CHILDREN OF MEN) is what sets the film apart from what you can get at Sunday school.

Christian Klose

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Original title: Last Days in the Desert
USA 2015, 99 min
Genre: Adventure, Drama, History
Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Author: Rodrigo Garcia
Distributor: TIBERIUS
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ciaran Hinds, Tye Sheridan
FSK: 12
Release: 13.04.2017

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