900. Judas and Jesus – Claudia Romero, Olaf Encke

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SUMMARY: The story of Jesus Christ from Judas’s point of view. All characters are portrayed by goats, sheep and dogs.

WHY IT’S HERE: Claudia Romero and Olaf Encke’s ‘Judas and Jesus’ is a throwback to the provocative, sexually explicit cartoons of the 70s. Telling the story of Jesus’s life from the point of view of Judas, the film parodies Golden Age theatrical animations with its look but is significantly more graphic in its content, with a good deal of animated nudity on show amongst its anthropomorphic goats. But there is more to ‘Judas and Jesus’ than nihilistic vulgarity. Though fairly blunt in its satire, the film is also balanced, depicting Jesus’s disciples as literal sheep but also showing the patrons of Mary Magdalene’s sex show as sheep. ‘Judas and Jesus’, like many religious satires before it, is mainly concerned with the rejection of blindly accepting organised religion and instead opting for empowerment through individuality. This is clear in Mary Magdalene’s final, eye-popping reaction to the hanged body of Judas at the end of the film. Though it has been variously condemned as blasphemous and misogynistic, ‘Judas and Jesus’ is primarily refreshingly unflinching in a way that more subtly offensive material often hypocritically claims to stand against. For many it will bring to mind the cult films of Ralph Bakshi, ‘Fritz the Cat’ in particular.

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