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DNKraljacic - Dex

Comments on some recent movies that are not widely available... from the standpoint of a filmmaker, screenwriting professor, and a film critic and scholar.

Dejan Nikolaj Kraljacic is a regular contributor



The Prophet and the Space Aliens (Israel, Austria, 2020, 86 min. documentary)

North American premiere at Fantasia International Film Festival, Montreal, 2020

The latest piece from the award-winning Israeli documentary filmmaker Yoav Shamir - The Prophet and the Space Aliens, is one of this year's hidden gems that deserves greater attention. Namely, this is one of those rare documentary pleasures which engages its spectators in a way that only a highly imaginative fiction could do.

The title character is Rael, a self-proclaimed "the only prophet on Earth", father of the largest UFO religion in the world Raelism (or Raelianism). Born as Claude Vorilhon, Rael failed to become a famous chansonnier, sports car driver and a successful magazine publisher (although his motorsport magazine Autopop started well). Strangely enough, in the early 1970s, he met aliens, those ones who actually created life on Earth. They kidnaped him, cloned, and brought him back to Earth in order to act as a prophet Rael (all the same things as they did before with Moses, Jesus, Muhammad...). And the message from outer space that Rael has to spread is: enjoy life, i.e. cherish self-indulgence, free sex, singing, dancing,... which is all eternal because the cloning near the end of our life makes us immortal (Raelians' claim that they successfully brought to life first human clones at the beginning of this century sparked some controversy around the world). Even though to a limited extent, Raelism has managed to spread globally, finding devoted followers in Japan, Burkina Faso (where the movement has been fighting against female genital mutilation encouraged by some local Islamic authorities), Taiwan, Canada, Slovenia...

Shamir's very clever approach, especially in terms of structure, elevates his film to a level of an extraordinary document of our times. Specifically, the real facts about Rael's past Shamir placed carefully in the second part of his film, using testimonies of Rael's old acquaintances in France not to portray his protagonist as some cheap deceiver, but rather to raise a deeply humane question - how much does factual truth really matter if believing in something can significantly improve personal life, i.e. make us happy (as a number of Raelian followers claimed to have experienced since they joined the movement)?

North American premiere at Fantasia International Film Festival, Montreal, 2020

About DNKraljacic - Dex

Kraljacic Dejan Nikolaj

Dex wrote, directed and produced almost a dozen shorts and documentaries, including award-winning pieces (such as a short Balkan Blues and documentary Shattered Dreams) since the mid-1990s.

Co-wrote the Huddersfield feature film that was awarded for best screenplay of the year in Serbia (2007). Since the late 1990s, have been working in the advertising field, was a film program director, cinema books publisher, staged an original comedy in theatre, and dealt with film criticism (a member of FIPRESCI). An associate professor of screenwriting at Academy of Arts University of Novi Sad, Serbia, a Raindance / Staffordshire University postgraduate degree film program mentor (UK/Canada - worldwide (online)). Holds a Ph.D. in film studies. Very fond of comic books.

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