Tuesday, February 21, 2006

And Now, For Something Completely Different

Yesterday evening, I saw Monty Python's excellent movie Life of Brian for the first time since I started blogging and could not help noticing how perfectly it depicts the stupidity of current events in Bolivia.

The movie deals with the life of Brian Cohen, also known as Brian of Nazareth or Brian that is called Brian, a person born in the same day, and right down the street, as Jesus Christ. When it was released, it was the subject of a heated controversy because of its alleged blasphemy and not one, but three different religious denominations expressed their disgust with this movie: Christians, Jews and (Palestinian) Muslims. So, you know there must be something right with it.

Indeed, this is same movie that was voted as the greatest comedy of all time by both UK's Total Film magazine in 2000 and Channel 4 in 2005. It is also ranked 136 in the IMDB top 250 and 85 in Empire Magazine top 201.

On the surface, Life of Brian is a cheaply-produced farce of Biblical epics, but underneath, a much more complex and humanistic portrait emerges. This movie offends because it dares to question. And, most important, it does not question religion, but (religious) fanatism and intolerance. It also shows the idiocy of political interest groups more concerned in passing resolutions than actually doing what they are supposed to be doing -COB, anyone? But things do not stop there, as the movie has something for oppresive systems and catch-22 justice systems -remember the stoning scene- too.

Thus, inspired by the Pythons, I have decided to write Life of Evo. Life of Evo will be an account of Bolivian politics tied to specific scenes in Life of Brian and will, hopefully, show the risible state of affairs that led to the election of the would-be authoritarian politician and his intent to destroy Bolivian democracy.

I will write a chapter of Life of Evo every weekend, for your reading pleasure. So, expect for this weekend Life of Evo, Chapter 1: Birth of Evo.

In the meanwhile, there is one thing I can assure you about Evo: He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

what were the exact complaints about this movie?
when was the movie released?

10:21 PM  
Blogger Alvaro Ruiz-Navajas said...

The complaints were that the movie was blasphemous. Catholics found it disrespectful to their beliefs - at the beginning, for instance, Jesus is praying, and people located far away don't hear "blessed are the peacemakers" or "bleesed are the meek", but "blessed are the cheesemakers" and "blessed are the greek". The movie also pokes fun at crucifixion at several points.
Jews found the depiction of stoning practices and haggling offensive and (Palestinian) Muslims did not like the Judean People's Front Suicide Squad.
According to IMDB, the movie was released in 1979.
I would advise you to rent the movie to see for yourself if these blasphemy charges are justified.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Miguel (MABB) said...

If you liked the life of brian, you have to watch M.P. and the holy grail. That is the most hilarious movie from monty.

8:42 PM  

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