Eye For Film >> Movies >> Jesus Egon Christ (2021) Film Review
Jesus Egon Christ
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
There's the rawness of a cold shower on a winter's morning to this docufiction hybrid from brothers David and Sasa Vajda, who spent a couple of years researching methadone clinics, needle exchanges and other places for addicts before bringing their project to life.
The resulting drama is set within the confines of a makeshift rehab centre run by a priest (Sascha Alexander Gersak) - the denomination is non-specific - who offers shelter, routine and sermons to an eclectic mix of addicts, trying to get their lives back on track. What he is offering is limited, especially in terms of emotional support, with the place little more than a roof over the heads of people who are also fighting mental health issues, although the directors treat this with a cool ambivalence - while it is by no means serving up the help they fully need, there's no doubt it's better than the likely street-life and fix-chasing alternative.
The Vajdas lean into the documentary elements, giving the mostly amateur cast scope to improvise, while the close-proximity camerawork from Antonia Lange makes the action immediate and immersive. The newest member of the group is Egon (musician and artist Paul Arámbula, who is American, although you would never guess from his performance, which descends increasingly into a twitchy psychosis of repeated gestures and phrases as he begins to believe he's getting messages from Jesus himself, a new potential addiction beginning to take shape.
Suggestions of better, and worse, pasts arise through whispery voiceover from Egon, he claims one addict was a chess champion, another a victim of childhood abuse, while Somewhere Over The Rainbow shows the way up high brought low. The simple narrative is less important than the Vajdas' scrutiny of the psychology and complex nature of addiction, with Arámbula's performance magnetic in its vulnerability.Reviewed on: 11 Mar 2021