For many centuries, in a small town on the southern border of Europe, people have been worshipping a statue of a black Jesus. 19-year-old Edward from Ghana, a resident of the refugee centre which is the subject of great controversy in the village, asks to carry the statue in the annual procession and to stand next to the locals that bear its cart. The community is divided over the response.
On a journey exploring the source of fear and prejudice against “the others”, the inhabitants of this small European village are called upon to question their own identity, starting with the very icon of their faith: a black Jesus.
Dir. Luca Lucchesi - 92mins - 2020 - Germany
"radiantly photographed and thorough....The village, like much of rural Europe, is economically struggling, and the residents want to keep what they have. They cling to their religious rite, carrying the crucifix through the streets, like an identitarian lifeboat in these stormy waters." - Guardian
"A Black Jesus, a documentary produced by famed German filmmaker Wim Wenders, creates a compelling juxtaposition, putting together Christian faith (with its enduring message about acceptance and favouring those less blessed than ourselves) and xenophobia" - Cineuropa
"With kindness, Luca Lucchesi’s camera accompanies this attempt at dialogue which prompts many inhabitants of Siculiana to question their relationship with “the Other” but also with the history of the village as well as with one of its founding symbols. A Black Jesus echoes a singular story of universal dimensions." - Visions du Reel
"a film about tolerance and understanding, and above all, listening." - Backseat Mafia
"In one Sicilian town, anti-migrant sentiment juxtaposes with its centuries-long worshipping of a statue depicting a black Jesus." - Modern Times Review
"who exactly is welcomed here? The pomp and circumstance of the festivities are at the centre of this filmic portrait of a community in which the alleged common ground is disintegrating into voice and skin tones: between the black people from abroad and the black man on the cross who – according to an elderly lady – was forced to “darken” himself in order to incorporate human sins." - DOK Leipzig