Jezus is een Palestijn (Jesus is a Palestinian)

The 25 year old Ramses (Hans Teeuwen) has been living for 8 years in a religious commune in the south of Holland. The members of the cult, who are flamboyantly pierced and looking fairly fashionable (with the exception of their cheesecloth draperies), busy themselves tending the land.
Jezus is een Palestijn
© 1999 Warner Bros. / Lagestee Film BV

The arrival of the Hindu leader, Kahn-Goeroe (not to be confused with the similar sounding "Kangaroo"; played by Anis de Jong), is followed quickly by the decision to initiate Ramses, luckily still a virgin, as priest in the community. One of the first rituals necessary will be to attach a new ornament to Ramses' private parts, somewhat similar to an "Albert's Ring" (for those of you familiar with those).

As fate would have it, Ramses' sister Natasha (Kim van Kooten) comes searching for her brother with the news that their father (Peer Mascini) is on his deathbed in Amsterdam. The Hindu leader lends permission for the boy to visit, but he must return as soon as his father has died. After seeing dad, who is paralyzed and hanging upside down in the hospital, Ramses spends the night at Natasha's house and meets her roommate Lonneke (Dijn Blom). Ramses discovers, for the first time in his life, that he has a strong attraction to the opposite sex and falls immediately in love or lust or something.

The following day, Ramses is told by his sister that the actual reason she brought him to Amsterdam was because their father has been in a comatose for four months and costing a pretty penny at the hospital. The law, it seems, demands not only Natasha's signature, but her brother's in order to proceed with euthanasia. Ramses refuses to lend his hand to these proceedings.

More nonsense to come as the Kahn-goeroe follows Ramses to Amsterdam, dad turns out not to be in a state of coma (,but patiently waiting for the new Messiah to come), a Palestinian prophet named Rashid (Najib Amhali) who lives in the local housing estate is sought for advice on the arrival of the Messiah, followed by such pleasures as neon crosses and crucifixion.

Writer/director Lodewijk Crijns (director of the prize- winning movie/documentary "Lap Rouge") explains that he has tried "to explain how someone can reach a certain moment in their lives when they are capable of converting from one religion to another." He tells that during "research on this subject I discovered that many of the faithful only become truly devout when they find themselves in the middle of a personal crisis." The main theme of this movie, according to Crijns, is SPIRITUALITY (N.B.- in capitals) and the main character in the story acts as redeemer. I would continue with more information of this kind, but I do want you to remember that the film is a comedy.

Well acted for a Dutch feature film with the exception of the extra's, who stand there obviously being extra's and make it more than clear that they don't (for the most part) have any acting training or ability.

Peer Mascini may be strapped down a good deal of the time, but he remains one of the strongest actors around in Dutch films.

Hans Teeuwen, a popular stand-up comic on the Dutch scene, proves delightfully humorous in a tongue-in-cheek pose throughout most of the film, but the more he begins to metamorphose and become a part of "normal" society, the more he loses the comic effect of his droll restraint. Nevertheless, he delivers a fine performance in his first Dutch feature film.

It's a comedy, so try to laugh.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett