Do you really believe?
This seems to be the central question presented throughout Brian Flemming’s independent documentary, “The God Who Wasn’t There.”
Probing through the annals of Bible history, Flemming sets out to basically disprove–or at least argue against–the validity and existence of Jesus Christ.
The film—released by Beyond Belief Media—is an entertaining and thought-provoking watch, but it’s nothing that would sweep away the awards at Cannes.
Throughout the course of the film, Fleming consistently offers up credible and believable information that directly refutes the existence of Jesus, especially as a God among men. The strong point of this film is every documentarian’s dream: much of the evidence is cold hard fact.
Fleming points out instances of time lapses within the storyline of the Bible, leaving the narrative of Jesus totally susceptible to alteration or misinterpretation through time. He also draws attention to the fact that not many people actually know the full story of Jesus.
Herein lies the best part of the film: it’s unbelievably entertaining for yours truly to watch "devout" Christians explain the idea of Jesus Christ with complete vagueness and na¯vet©. All cynicism aside, it’s pretty mind boggling to think about the fact that even those who actually believe in him, don’t really know who he was.
In addition to the "regular Joe" testimonies he gets from various passersby, Flemming includes some substantial, educated talking heads; they’re all thoughtful, interesting scholars and they present valid arguments as to how Christianity and the story of Jesus may have been misinterpreted or lost in translation throughout time.
To bolster the entertainment value, Flemming employs clips from several well-known, bygone religion-themed movies, dating all the way back to the days of silent film. In its entirety, the film seems to shoot for a light-hearted mood, even though it’s basically challenging the foundation facts of one of the world’s oldest and most widely practiced monotheistic religions. Flemming’s little bits of humor can be detected through subtle ironies in the narration or, as mentioned before, in the painfully embarrassing testimonies of "believers."
Overall, this doc’s a pretty stimulating watch; you’ll enjoy it if you’re either a staunch agnostic, or just a simple doubting Thomas (no pun intended).