First time director, Louis Joon sent me a complimentary copy of his new “gothsploitation movie”, Learning Hebrew.
Now there are several reasons why I’m not the right person to write a review for a film like this. For one, I sometimes really like unique, original independent ‘cult’ films, and this one is just a bit on the weird side of strange. (2) I’m also a bit of an ‘anglophile’ in that I like practically everything from the UK. (3) My tastes are largely a-typical, and I think my cinematic opinion is seldom shared. For example, I really liked ‘Eat the Rich‘, and not just because Lemmy is in it.
Another reason I shouldn’t critique a film like this is that I’m not really all that mature. There are several quite comely young ladies in this film, all alluringly attired and performing provocatively. I watched this with my 19 year-old son. He noted -and I nodded- that it must have been a lot of fun filming these scenes. I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of that.
Imagine a hypothetical near-future scenario proposing two different ideas, (1) that militant religionists have oppressed dissension through the passage of strictly-enforced blasphemy laws, and (2) that atheists are everything Christians imagine that we are, amoral, hedonistic, and dogmatic, worshiping Dawkins, and proselytizing Darwinism door-to-door. There’s also a tongue-in-cheek look at ‘what if all religion is wrong, but still partially right?‘
I find some of the parody characters amusing too, especially the Judas Priest look-alike. He’s a suicide bomber, ready to kill or die in the name of Natural Selection. My favorite moment though is a conflict between suddenly disparate religious perspectives. A pair of thugs quit beating up on an atheist and wander away, because they’re agnostic, meaning that they lack commitment.
Much of this picture amounts to punchlines which only atheists would likely understand or see the humor in. One example of that is the faintly familiar theme song at the end.