Hot Docs: I Am Jesus [2010, Valerie Gudenus, Heloisa Sartorato]

Toronto – Christianity is one of the largest religions on Earth.  But what is Jesus Christ were to come back today?  And what if there were actually three of him, each claiming that they really are Jesus and each with his own group of followers?  That’s the premise of I Am Jesus and it’s really a pretty fascinating look at these three individuals and their followers.  Yes, each of these men have their own followers who (mostly) believe that they are who they say they are. 

The first of these men (and maybe the most interesting) is David Shayler (AKA Dolores), a former MI5 agent, who is seen early on in the film stealing discarded food from a Marks and Spencer bin to feed himself and his fellow squatters.  He first came to the conclusion that he was Jesus while on a mushroom trip and enjoys going out to the people (sometimes in drag, so as to keep in touch with his feminine side) and telling them about how the world will definitely change somehow in 2012.  

Taking a different tactic in getting his message to the people, Inri Cristo of Brazil travels around in a big bus emblazoned with his website URL and accompanied by his mostly female followers.  He also makes good use of the media, making various TV appearances and creating a bunch of Youtube videos featuring pop songs with the lyrics rewritten to be all about him.  He seems to at least have a sense of humour and fun about what he does and I guess in a way in kind of makes sense – a modern day messiah would have to reach the people through goofy Youtube videos.

The last of the Jesuses (is that the plural of Jesus?) is the somewhat mysterious man known as Vissarion, who is barely seen in the film.  His followers refer to him as “The Teacher” and travel on a three day pilgrimage through the freezing cold of Siberia just to see and hear him speak to them.  Of the three men profiled, he seems the creepiest and most cult leader-ish of the bunch.  I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that probably none of these guys are actually Jesus, but they’re all pretty interesting characters.


Posted on by Paul in Hot Docs