Jesus is one of the most well-known figures in history. Since he roamed the hills of Palestine 2000 years ago, billions of people from myriad nations have followed his teaching that all are welcome and that every person is created to love and be loved. Yet despite the many ethnicities and identities of his followers, Jesus almost always has been depicted in paintings, sculptures, and film as a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed, cisgender male. But such depictions exclude, contrary to everything Jesus taught. And this exclusion has enabled centuries of discrimination, oppression and injustice against women, people of color, and anyone else who has found themselves on the margins of society—including LGBTQ+ people. Because reasoned argument has rarely found purchase in the face of uncompromising dogma, entrenched ideas of how Jesus looked, and skewed notions of what he stood for, the film makers seek change by shattering centuries of religious imagery and iconography that always depicts Jesus the same way. They brought together and led a team of creatives of unique talent to create photo art of nine models of diverse ethnicities, races, genders, and sexual and gender identities depicting Jesus as one of them. Never before has the world seen a Black or LatinX or Asian or female or gay or lesbian or nonbinary or transgender Jesus praying for peace for all peoples; beaten senseless, as so many LGBTQ+ have been; or crowned with thorns and hanging on a cross, bleeding the colors of the rainbow.
Best Film – 2022 LGBTQ Toronto Film Festival