O Holy Ghost
ALT | International Shorts
A mixture of rapture and disenchantment, O Holy Ghost follows the inner experience of two believers at opposite ends of the spiritual spectrum. When a young couple drive to a new-age Christian ceremony held in a tall WWII-like water tower, Stephanie takes part in the ceremony with the charismatic leader while Emmanuel waits outside under a tree. This dense, multilayered piece examines faith from two perspectives, the woman desperate for that transcendent experience and to be part of the group, while the man, like those in some monastic orders, thinks that enduring suffering will bring him closer to the divine. There are also a few side shots at cults and the way that they prey on the insecure. Though the film will remind people of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster (VIFF 2015), this is a bitingly original absurdist satire on religious experiences at a time when we see more extremism and intolerance among practitioners of all denominations.