In Van Dormael’s surreal filmic universe, God orchestrates the fates of everyone on Earth via a beat-up old PC still running on MS DOS. His long-suffering wife, ‘La femme de Dieu’ (Yolande Moreau) turns a blind eye to his spite but their ten-year-old daughter, Ea (Pili Groyne), sets a cat amongst the pigeons when she hacks her father’s computer and makes a break for it – like her older brother JC before her! – turning up in Brussels to recruit some new apostles to humanity’s cause.
Among these is Martine (Catherine Deneuve), a woman married for many years who becomes painfully aware of her husband’s indifference and who forms an unexpected bond with a circus ape. Despite the whacky premise, Van Dormael’s film sensitively explores a rich gamut of human emotions – loneliness, grief, sadness, resignation – through a range of poetically realised characters who are each in their own way longing to find deeper meaning in their lives. One of the many pleasures the film offers is a soundtrack featuring Handel, Purcell and Schubert alongside Camille Saint-Saëns and Charles Trenet’s La Mer.
“Beautiful, poignant, whimsical, and hilarious” Ain’t It Cool News
Best Motion Picture - Foreign Language nominee, 2016 Golden Globes
The Brand New Testament
3 Dec - 13 Dec
In Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael’s gently absurdist comedy, God (Benoit Poelvoorde) is a Belgian-born crank that spends more time honing His Laws of Universal Annoyance than dispensing compassion. French screen legend Catherine Deneuve joins the fun in a typically fearless turn as a woman who is given a fresh chance at happiness.