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618 Ratings

The Brand New Testament

Le tout nouveau testament

Directed by Jaco van Dormael
Belgium, France, 2015


Set in Jaco Van Dormael’s native Belgium, The Brand New Testament is a surreal comedy in which God is a real life character who lives in Brussels.

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The Brand New Testament Directed by Jaco van Dormael

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2015 | Directors' Fortnight

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2015 | Nominee: Best Undistributed Film

César Awards

2016 | Nominee: Best Foreign Film

The epilogue undermines the persuasiveness and credibility of the director’s good heart. Suddenly, touches of utopian and fantastic feminism, environmentalism (more precisely, tolerated inter-species romance) and rightful drastic punishment appear as last minute flourishes rather than central concerns. Humanity will have to wait if it wants another, more credible Testament.
April 14, 2016
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There’s a lovely abrasiveness to the film’s most trenchant humour and, at times, especially in the ‘Genesis’ section, the sheer grace and simplicity of the visual absurdism are quite breathtaking (a supermarket for ostriches? A cinema for chickens? Why not?). Overall Van Dormael and his team have so many good ideas that you revel in the sheer energetic expansiveness of it all, even when individual elements don’t quite come off.
April 01, 2016
Instead of trying to nail down the specific new doctrine suggested by the film’s title, Van Dormael and co-writer Thomas Gunzig delight in comic meanderings and visual flights of fancy. Giraffes strut through deserted streets, a disembodied hand pirouettes to Handel, and random daredevil Kevin defies his distant death date (the pre-destined dates of everyone’s demise having been leaked from God’s computer) with increasingly outlandish stunts.
April 01, 2016
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