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The Brand New Testament

The Brand New Testament

The Brand New Testament (French: Le Tout Nouveau Testament) is a 2015 fantasy dark comedy film written, produced, and directed by Jaco Van Dormael. It is a co-production among Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. The film was screened at the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It was selected as the Belgian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, making the December shortlist of nine films, but was not nominated. The Brand New Testament received ten nominations at the 6th Magritte Awards, winning four awards, including Best Film and Best Director for Van Dormael. The film has become a cult film.


God lives in an apartment in Brussels which he shares with his meek wife and his 10-year-old daughter Ea, to whom he is emotionally and physically abusive. God is a grumpy sadist who created humankind specifically to have something to torment. He manipulates reality via the computer in his office. One day when he forgets to lock the door, Ea sneaks in, sees on the computer how God has been making humans suffer, and confronts him about it. He is furious and whips Ea with his belt. Ea decides to rebel against her father. Together with her brother Jesus, who secretly lives in their apartment disguised as a statue, she decides to go into the world, find six more apostles and have a "brand new testament" written. Ea steals the office key, accesses the database with all birthdays and times of death of every human in the world, and has the computer send a text message to each of them announcing their time of death. Then she randomly takes six persons' records from the database, puts a software lock on God's computer, and escapes from the apartment through their washing machine, which Jesus hacked to provide a tunnel to the outside world. Wandering the streets of Brussels, Ea first enlists a homeless man, Victor, to be her scribe, since she cannot write well, and then begins to find her six apostles to narrate their own life stories for the Testament.

The first apostle is a reclusive woman who lost her left arm in an accident and feels nobody will love her. The second is a man who hates his work and his life, and has decided to never move from a bench in the park now that he knows the date of his death. Ea translates to allow him to converse with a bird. This induces him to follow a flock of birds to the North Pole. The third apostle is a sexually frustrated man who is awkward with women and remains lovesick for a German girl he met once as a boy. With Ea's encouragement, he becomes a voice actor for porn movies, where he encounters and establishes a relationship with his lifelong fixation. The fourth apostle is a man who is fascinated with death and killing. He purchases a rifle and shoots people knowing that, since all death dates are already predetermined, they cannot be his responsibility. Ea prods him to shoot a woman, the first apostle. When she doesn't die, because he hit her in her prosthetic arm, he believes this to be a divine signal, starts a relationship with her, and learns to embrace life instead of death. The fifth apostle is an elderly woman trapped in a loveless marriage, especially now that her husband knows he will outlive her by many years. Ea persuades her to cheat on her husband. She has sex with a young male prostitute, and then forms a love relationship with a gorilla. The gorilla scares her husband away, to her delight. The sixth apostle is a sickly boy who, with only days left to live, decides to live them as a girl. Ea encourages him to live each day as the equivalent of one month.

God is horrified when he discovers what Ea has done and that he can no longer torment humans. Locked out of his computer, he is powerless. He leaves the apartment using the same route that ends in a laundry room, and in the real world he suffers all the mistreatment and frustrations he created for mankind. He is assaulted by everyone he meets. When he wants to go back, he finds that the tunnel to his apartment has disappeared and he is trapped on Earth powerless and alone. He takes shelter in a church, where his outrageous criticism of his son Jesus Christ provokes a charitable priest into beating him senseless and eventually gets him locked up with a group of illegal immigrants that are to be deported to Uzbekistan.

Ea and her apostles go to the seaside where hundreds of people have gathered to spend the last hours of their lives. An airplane approaches: it's carrying the group of immigrants, including God, under police escort, and is scheduled to crash onto the beach and kill everyone according to God's own previous programming. In the meantime, God's wife has realized that the number of apostles has grown to 18, her favorite number, enters her husband's office and cleans up. In the process, the computer restarts and now invites her to take control. The previously scheduled death dates are overruled. The airplane regains altitude and the world is reset under a flower-filled sky. Victor's Brand New Testament is published, becomes a bestseller, and catapults him out of hopeless poverty into a new life of fame and fortune. God reaches Uzbekistan where he is put to work on an assembly line manufacturing washing machines. He frantically checks each washing machine if maybe it has an escape hatch that will take him back to his apartment.



The Brand New Testament received generally favorable reviews from film critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 82%, based on 74 reviews with an average rating of 7/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Brand New Testament takes a surreal, subversive, and funny look at Biblical themes through a modern — and refreshingly original — lens." At Metacritic, the film received an average score of 70 out of 100, based on 17 reviews from mainstream critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".


See also

  • List of submissions to the 88th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
  • List of Belgian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Giuseppe Zanotti Luxury Sneakers


External links

  • The Brand New Testament at IMDb
  • The Brand New Testament at Rotten Tomatoes
  • The Brand New Testament at Metacritic
  • The Brand New Testament at Box Office Mojo

Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: The Brand New Testament by Wikipedia (Historical)