Last Days in the Desert

Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Screenwriters: Rodrigo Garcia

Institute History


Ewan McGregor is mesmerizing as he takes on two of history’s most complicated and misunderstood characters: Jesus Christ and the Devil.

Director Rodrigo Garcia reimagines Christ’s last days of fasting in the desert as he walks back to civilization. In the midst of the harsh landscape, fatigued and hallucinating, Christ is met by the Devil, who is eager to test and tempt the weary traveler. Their profound ruminations on faith and truth demonstrate Garcia’s power as a screenwriter and McGregor’s determination to portray Jesus in a different light. By focusing on Christ's fallibility and innocence, new dimensions of the prophet and the man create a fascinating character study. But Christ’s real test comes when he befriends a family on his travels and is caught up in a dispute that forces a powerful confrontation with his own fate.

Exquisite cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, 2013) not only submerges us into a classic cinematic metaphor for confrontation with the self but also transforms the desert into a formidable psychological adversary.

Garcia makes the most of minimalism in this thought-provoking piece that incorporates biblical motifs and iconography to creatively blend fable, drama, and spiritual quest while exploring the nature of enlightenment and perception. —H.C.

Winner of the 2014 Dolby Family Sound Fellowship

— Hussain Currimbhoy

Screening Details

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