Jesus Christ Saviour

Jesus Christus Erlöser

"This riffraff is even more fucked up than the Pharisees. At least they let Jesus finish before nailing him to the cross." — Klaus Kinski
Director: Peter Geyer
Year: 2008
Country: Germany
Running time: 84 mins

Editors: Peter Geyer, Konrad Bohley, Michael Dreher
Music: Florian Käppler, Daniel Requardt
In German with English subtitles
DigiBeta/M offensive language

With: Klaus Kinski

Festivals: Berlin, Edinburgh 2008

Utilising never-before-seen footage of Klaus Kinski's infamous 1971 stage performance, director Peter Geyer reconstructs a fiery sermon from our favourite fiend. Even before his iconic turns for Werner Herzog in Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo, Kinski was a notorious and divisive figure. The debut of his one-man show, a highly personal retelling of the New Testament, attracted an audience thirsting for confrontation not enlightenment. Compiling all extant footage of the event, Geyer chronicles a fascinating altercation between a committed artist and his derisive audience. The crowd's relentless heckling provokes Kinski into a rage and the event devolves into chaos. Kinski's monologue reclaiming Jesus for the "hippies, junkies, prostitutes, outcasts and underdogs" may seem quaint nearly 40 years on, but the intensity of his defiant performance and volatile stage presence has lost none of its power. — MM.