Harry Tuttle

Hesus the Revolutionary (2002) is set in the year 2010 and follows the titular resistance fighter (Mark Anthony Fernandez) whose loyalty and ideology are put to test when he is ordered by the leader of the movement to kill his cell mates and is subsequently captured by the military. The most noteworthy aspect of the film is that Diaz does not set the film in far future or alter the mise en scène to make it seem futuristic. The fact that the architecture and geography look very contemporary indicates that there has been no progress for quite some time. Additionally, he uses pseudo-newsreels as prelude to the narrative. All these moves aid Diaz’s vision of establishing the future as a mere variant of the past and the present. His intention is to provide a critical distance between the audience and the story and hence make them reflect on how the same kind of events have happened in the past and are still happening. The chiaroscuro driven mise en scène through which the protagonist secretly moves seems to have been derived from American noir films. Diaz films his characters in moderately long shots and uses a techno soundtrack (by the band The Jerks) that enhances the dystopian sense overarching the film. Even while working within the limits of the genre (thereby using some of its conventions), Diaz manages to suffuse the film with themes that he would progressively be concerned with. However, Hesus the Revolutionary, in hindsight, is only the tip of a gargantuan iceberg.

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