The First Temptation of Christ, a 46-minute satire flick showing Jesus as a closeted homosexual was released on 3rd December. In the movie, Jesus is seen arriving at his parents’ home for his 30th birthday celebration with a ‘friend’ named Orlando. Though Jesus tries to downplay their relationship, Orlando hints that they are more than friends.
The film has ignited the ire of Christians, who see the movie as blasphemous, vulgar and disrespectful. “we support freedom of expression, but is it worth attacking the belief of 86 percent of the population,’’ tweeted Eduardo Bolsonaro, the eldest son of Brazil’s President and member of congress.
Soares da Costa, a bishop in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, said on Facebook he had canceled his Netflix subscription over the film, according to Yahoo news.
This controversial movie was produced by Porta dos Fundos, a comedy troupe of five people from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who started filming sketches and parodies on their youtube channel. This movie which was released as a Christmas special marks their second religious’ satire following The Last Hangover, which depicts Jesus’ disciples looking for him in the morning after the last supper. ‘In this biblical spoof, the apostles awaken to find Jesus is missing and must piece together the events of the previous night’s wild last supper,’ reads the description on Netflix. The production earned an International Emmy Award for best comedy web television special.
So far, more than 1.4 million people have signed an online petition calling on Netflix to remove the piece and take action against the producers for their insensitivity toward Christians, according to dailymail.co.uk.
Porta dos Fundos have mocked the petition running against them and have also gone ahead to set up their own version of their film from Netflix, describing their own comedy special as “tragic and sad’’.
Interestingly, most Brazilians are Christians and the country has the largest population of Catholics in the world with 123 million followers, according to the Catholic Website Crux; which makes Brazil unofficially a Christian state. Yet, the BackDoors which is the English translation of the Portuguese name of the troupe, went ahead to produce such an offensive word. And that raises the question of whether the movie is a mere expression of artistic talent or a movement to Christianize same-sex relationships.