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A Black Jesus

DE 2020, 92 min, Luca Lucchesi

In Siculiana, a small Sicilian town in the province of Agrigento, the statue of a black Jesus has been venerated for centuries. On May 3rd, the crucifix is carried on the shoulders of chosen devotees in procession through the crowded streets of the town. On this occasion, hundreds of Siculianesi emigrants return from every part of Italy and abroad to pay homage to their patron saint.

In 2014, Villa Sikania, a hotel on the verge of bankruptcy, was converted by the owners into a reception centre for asylum seekers. At the height of the migrant crisis the centre hosted up to 1000 guests – a third of the local population. However, few Siculianesi have ever exchanged a single word with them.

The Siculianesi, who have always been a population of emigrants, have to deal with an exodus of young people and therefore with the lack of a workforce. One possible answer to the town's problems could be the young migrants present at Villa Sikania: their willingness to undertake any honest work could revive the fate of Siculiana. But their status as asylum seekers makes it impossible for them to make short or long-term plans or to obtain employment contracts. Siculianesi and migrants remain divided, not speaking with each other out of fear, but also because the Italian government has not attempted to create a fruitful dialogue between these two different faces of poverty.

The drowsy stagnancy of Siculiana is stirred up by the arrival of Edward, a 19-year old migrant from Ghana. He is immediately fascinated by the figure of the black Jesus, who he discovers for the first time during the 2018 procession. Edward decides to challenge the indifference of the Siculianesi. He asks them for the greatest honour: to participate, together with his friends Peter and Samuel, as bearers of the black Jesus statue during the celebrations of May 3rd.

Dialogue and understanding finally seem possible. But how much power do individuals and communities really have, within a system designed to divide rather than unite?

The result of two years of immersive research within the community of Siculiana, A BLACK JESUS is a modern parable about the fragile path towards equality and brotherhood among all human beings.

 

festivals

UNAFF 2020, US | DOK Leipzig 2020, DE | This Human World FF 2020, AT | Efebo D'Oro 2020, IT | MIFF Awards 2020, IT | Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis 2021, DE | Bolzano Film Festival 2021, IT | Visions du Réel 2021, CH | Hot Docs 2021, CA | CPH:DOX 2021, DK

awards

Premio Speciale Centro Ricerca Narrative e Cinema (Efebo D'Oro 2020)

pictures

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Presskit

NEWS

GLORY TO THE QUEEN

will be screened at

It's All True Film Festival, BR 2021
8th - 18th April

Kansas City FilmFest, US 2021
12th - 18th April

Bolzano Film Festival, IT 2021
13th - 18th April

goEast Festival, DE 2021
20th - 26th April

SEEfest, US 2021
28th April - 5th May

Jeonju Int. FF, KR 2021
29th April - 8th May

Fipadoc, FR 2021

A BLACK JESUS

will be screened at

Bolzano Film Festival, IT 2021
13th - 18th April

Visions du Réel, CH 2021
15th - 25th April

CPH:DOX, DK 2021
21th April - 12th May

Hot Docs, CA 2021
29th April - 9th May

WOOD

will be screened at

Fipadoc, FR 2021

NEW ON VOD

Una Primavera,
This Land Is My Land
and
Johanna Dohnal - Visionary of Feminism

NEW ON DVD

Die Dohnal  - Frauenministerin / Feministin / Visionärin,
and
Walter Arlen's first century

AWARDS

 

A BLACK JESUS

EFEBO D'ORO 2020
Premio Speciale
Centro Ricerca Narrative e Cinema

GLORY TO THE QUEEN

FREE ZONE FF 2020
Audience Award

DOQUMENTA 2020
Honorable Mention

THE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORN

VIENNALE 2020
Special Jury Prize

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FESTIVALS

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