Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Coexister (4 Stars)

"Did you hear the one about the rabbi, the priest and the imam?"

That's a typical introduction to a religious joke. The French film "Coexister" doesn't make do with just one joke, it's 90 minutes of humorous situation comedy. The jokes are inappropriate, certain to insult the followers of all three religious faiths, unless you have a sense of humour. Isn't that what we need in today's world more than anything else? If we laughed more we would fight less, especially if we can laugh at ourselves.

Music producer Nicolas Lejeune has been threatened that he'll lose his job if he doesn't discover a new music act that will sell out the Olympia Concert Hall in Paris within six months. He has a brilliant idea. France is currently being ripped apart by religious intolerance, so why not create a group made up of a rabbi, a Catholic priest and an imam to promote brotherly love and the coexistence of religions?

The group, which he calls Coexister, has problems from the beginning. How can they sing about tolerance when they can't tolerate one another? They learn the lesson that the only way to coexist is to concentrate on what unites them and forget about what divides them.

One thing that unites them is their faith crises. The rabbi is plagued by guilt over an accident he had while performing a circumcision, so he can't appear on stage without using cocaine. The priest is fighting hard to resist the temptations of living a life as a rock star, and he's fighting a losing battle. The imam can only resist the temptation to drink alcohol by spending every evening with prostitutes.

This is one of the funniest films I've seen for a long time. I don't know whether it will be made available with English subtitles, but I hope it will become widely available.

Click here to hear one of the songs from the film. Even if you can't understand French you should be able to enjoy the music video.

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