Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

Jesus Christ Saviour 2008

Jesus Christus Erlöser

Directed by Peter Geyer

A fascinating record of Klaus Kinski's fiery 1971 stage performance, his highly personal retelling of the New Testament, delivered to a crowd out for blood.

Germany In German with English subtitles
84 minutes DigiBeta



Peter Geyer
Konrad Bohley
Michael Dreher


Florian Käppler
Daniel Requardt


Klaus Kinski


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