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Armin Smailovic on Set

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Milo Rau’s film ‘The New Gospel’ premiered online on December 17 – proceeds from digital ticket sales will benefit selected cinemas. Armin Smailovic accompanied the filming process with his Leica SL.

What would Jesus preach if he was alive in the 21st century? In this modern passion play, Swiss director Milo Rau revisits the origins of the Gospel within the context of the injustices and inequalities of today’s society. Together with political activist Yvan Sagnet, who became cinema history’s first Black person to be cast in the role of Jesus, Rau has created a radical interpretation of the Story of Christ that leaves audiences reeling with its sheer honesty and power.  

German photographer Armin Smailovic spent weeks on location in the South-Italian town of Matera to accompany the shoot. “Armin is an Old Master, most fitting for a film about Jesus,” director Milo Rau explains. “His gaze is unobtrusive yet intimate, detached yet empathic, filled with humour yet often sorrowful – you could almost say: grieving. Grieving over what is happening to us in this world – or what is happing to this world through us. At the same time, despite the melancholy he favours, his images are engaging, striving for beauty, as if he (like Jesus) wanted to bestow righteousness on every last one of us. […] Each of Armin’s portraits is a homage to the moment, to what was taking place right there and then – made seemingly eternal by the act of pressing the shutter. Symbolic, unforgettable, necessary.”

For further details visit The New Gospel, Focus Agency and Armin Smailovic

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