Join us after the screening at 6:30pm for a live Q&A with Director Yoav Shamir and Producer Tanya Aizikovich
“Be carefool wiz whatt yoo say, everyssing iz reecordehd,” he discreetly says in his mischievous French accent, into the ear of a giggling woman. As the camera follows this innocent looking 70-something-year old man, we introduced into the secretive circle of the eccentric companions of Raël. Yes, that Raël, the one and only Raël, controversial cult leader Raël. Dressed in white, he proudly sits on a rock and honours us with a magisterial meditation. He sings for peace, for love, for “Elohim”. He Skypes with his African followers and tries to fundraise for a clitoral repair clinic. What could go wrong in this picture?
Israeli documentarist Yoav Shamir (2009’s DEFAMATION, 2003’s CHECKPOINT) approaches the subject of indoctrination with great finesse. WILD WILD COUNTRY (2018), HELL HOUSE (2001), WACO (1997) and GOING CLEAR (2015) all document cults, yet none of them begin to ask, “what IS a prophet? What would that mean if there were such a being?” THE PROPHET AND THE SPACE ALIENS is a straightforward documentary, without sensationalism. Don’t mistake a kind eye for a naïve one, though, Shamir’s camera is sharp and genuine. While he knew little of Raël at first, his journey with the infamous guru is one of self-discovery. In the scary times we live in, with an apocalyptic aftertaste, and the need to find anything or anyone to grasp on to, faith is a concept to engage with great care. Shamir reflects on the meaning of “sect” and the very essence of religion, while the self-proclaimed “only prophet on earth” plays petanque, dances on the beach and talks to aliens. – Celia Pouzet
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