Found in: Japan Season


classified 12A S

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2020


Please note: This was screened in Feb 2020

Hiroshi Okuyama
Yura Sato, Riki Okuma, Chad Mullane
76 mins, Subtitled, 2018, Japan
Primary language

Winner of the New Directors competition at San Sebastian, Hiroshi Okuyama's strikingly original and playful debut follows a young Yura who makes friends with an imaginary Jesus.

Following his Grandfather’s death, nine-year-old Yura moves with his parents from Tokyo to a countryside town to live with his widowed grandmother. Enrolled at the nearest school - which happens to be a Christian establishment - shy Yura must adapt to his new life. At first he struggles with the religious enthusiasm of his classmates but when, in the midst of prayer, a very small Jesus (played energetically by Australian comedian Chad Mullane) manifests himself, the boy finds himself with a new friend who makes his every wish come true…

Deadpan in its oddball humour, Jesus carves out territory somewhere between whimsy and WTF – but behind the gentle and playful veneer Okuyama directs a sensitive, subtle drama about religion and the way children perceive the world.

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