The Apocalyptic Is the Mother of All Christian Theology
After Ulysses S. Grant, the victorious commander of the American Civil War, maverick Jim Finn has now tackled the Apostle Paul. Eighteen centuries lie between the two and yet those historical super-figures have a lot in common. The acts of both were epoch-making, both had to undertake prolonged expeditions to achieve them, and both have inspired a host of propaganda, including numerous board games that also serve as a visual framework for Finn’s latest film. Above all, both remain controversial to this day, though Paul’s actions, due to the thin factual basis, provided and still provide better groundwork for substantially more outlandish interpretations. The films quotes some of the more outrageous ones in an eclectic montage of red-tinged excerpts from biblical epics, Christian fundamentalist talk shows, cartoons, children’s books, dioramas, theme parks and performances by magicians and rapturous choirs.
The curious title refers to a paper of the German theologist Ernst Käsemann, whose research snatched Paul from the grasp of the Antisemites who had usurped him and placed him back in the tradition of Jewish mysticism. That is also the objective of Jim Finn’s film as it gleefully dissects two thousand years of appropriation and propaganda in a wild ride through history.
Photosensitivity warning: Contains flashes of light that may trigger seizures for people with visual sensitivities.