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George W. Bush Battles Jesus Christ (2008)

 -  Short  -  26 October 2008 (USA)
5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 76 users  
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Diran Lyons' strategic juxtaposition of the aggressive rhetoric of George W Bush with significant peaceful statements offered by Christ as portrayed in Franco Zeffirelli's "Jesus of ... See full summary »

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Title: George W. Bush Battles Jesus Christ (2008)

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Himself (archive footage)
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Jesus of Nazareth (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Aikman ...
David Aikman (archive footage)
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Elkanah Bent (archive footage)
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Bob Barnes (archive footage)
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Bryan Woodman (archive footage)
Mike Gravel ...
Mike Gravel (archive footage)
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Barabbas (archive footage)
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Joseph of Arimathea (archive footage)
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George C. Scott (archive footage)
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Diran Lyons' strategic juxtaposition of the aggressive rhetoric of George W Bush with significant peaceful statements offered by Christ as portrayed in Franco Zeffirelli's "Jesus of Nazareth" [1977] recontextualizes content obtained from the news media to reveal - in Nietzschean flair - a greater truth that lies behind this reconfiguration, resulting in an overall critique of neoconservative politics and its claim to theological underpinnings. Written by Anonymous

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26 October 2008 (USA)  »

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$800 (estimated)
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1.33 : 1
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Quotes

Elkanah Bent: If there's one thing I learned in the Army: There's nothing like a good war for making money.
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Features North and South (1985) See more »

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This short film is a strong example of Political Remix Video.
8 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This short film is a strong example of Political Remix Video, a video practice which exemplifies the artist's capability in undermining the message of the original source material. In this case, through threading news media footage with the WASPY/British portrayal of Christ in 'Jesus of Nazareth,' the video exposes the problematic nature of the biblical literature itself (the "original" source of the film). Such a filmic strategy baits those who would claim the video takes biblical material out of context and provokes politically motivated counter arguments which must themselves participate in precisely the same practice of exegetical cherry-picking. In the description of the video, the work is touted as possessing 'a Nietzschean flair.' No doubt this is lost on most (especially those who have not read Nietzsche carefully), and particularly those of the youthful generations who think 'Beyond Good and Evil' is just a Fantasy game. In Nietzsche's terms, the unpleasant yet higher truth revealed through the video is the untenability of an homogenized biblical position on war, peace, and justice, a result of the contradictory nature of the literature when such subjects are viewed holistically.

Speaking more personally, most people that I speak with who don't have a Christian faith (and who don't find it worth their time to earn higher education degrees in the study of the "Old Covenant" versus "New Covenant" nuances) make mention of the fact that the bible has such internally conflicting notions within it that any biblically-backed argument will invariably take things out of context. This is the case because any singular argument must rest on some set of premises that neglects and undervalues certain other biblical precepts. In other words, arguing for one side of an issue (such as 'whether Christ was a pacifist') is to take things out of context, yet to argue from a totalized biblical perspective runs directly into contradictory conceptual chaos. The chaos looks like something as follows: Christ is referred to in the biblical literature as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and he passionately advised his followers to "love thine enemies" (Matthew 5:44), "Turn the other cheek," etc. To cap things off, Christ admonished his disciple Peter to put away his sword, and in the same breath offered the maxim that "he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52). However, Christ also says "do not think I came to bring peace on earth, but rather a sword" (Matthew 10:34), and he directs his disciples to sell their cloaks, take the money, and purchase swords in Luke 22:36. Jesus and God the Father called for the genocide of over a million Ethiopians (2 Chronicles 14), not to mention the extermination of members of several other tribes and nations, keeping only the virgin women alive for sexual purposes (see, for example, Numbers 31:1-54). The latter ideas don't sound too peaceful, quite ironic for a person entitled, "The Prince of Peace." Regardless of the magician-like exegesis required to attempt a reconciliation of these conflicting biblical items, the entire discussion must be set against the background of Hebrews 13:8, which states: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." This biblical proposition cannot be true, by virtue of the bible's own teachings. If Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, that would conceptually require that he is eternally "the same." Being eternally the same would necessitate that Christ's opinions on morality could not have changed (What good is it to say that Christ is "the same" eternally if his opinions on morality are flexible from one moment to the next?). Given that his notions of morality cannot change, it makes little sense for Christ to have taught his followers throughout the ages several diametrically opposed ideas on ethics. (Re: "Throughout the ages": We must remember that Christ taught that he and his Father are one and the same in John 14:6-10 and John 17:20-22, etc. We must also remember that John starts off his gospel by asserting that "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Ultimately, since Jesus purported himself to be the eternal God, by inference these verses require that God is unchanging).

But such an unchanging divine nature is not evident in the bible. Exodus 21:24, which requires, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" (regardless of whether one may view it as an argument to reduce punishment to fit a crime) establishes a view of justice and morality that is changed by Christ's later teachings (E.g., "Turn the other cheek"). If God is unchanging, how can he baptize some eras with one standard, but other epochs with a different one? Why did God tell his people that a man and woman caught in adultery should be put to death by stoning? Yet Christ said, with the woman brought to him after having been caught in adultery, "He who has not sinned may throw the first stone." How is killing someone appropriate for this specific sin in one ancient time, yet inappropriate just 1500 years hence? Additionally, if God is really unchanging, shouldn't we continue to stone homosexuals to death, just as Leviticus 20:13 demands? It sure would be unfortunate to be a homosexual living in that era, rather than more modern ones when God merely threatens eternal hell fire for being gay! ...Ultimately, any critique of 'George W. Bush Battles Jesus Christ' that attempts to call the video shallow propaganda is itself that same very thing, falling into the film's web of conceptual cunning. The moral of the story? No easy truths! Both Jesus and W are idiots (the latter is also a liar who uses Christianity only for political posturing), and so are you if you believe in either of them. Given the myriad of negative votes on this film, it is obvious that this "Nietzschean flair" kind of goes to waste. Can't say I am surprised most people didn't get it!


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