Film

‘G.I. Jesus’

by

A young Marine named Jesus (Joe Arquette) survives honorable service in Iraq, but the year away has left a scar on his marriage to Claudia (Patrícia Mota): The passion is still there, but another man is circling, and there are hints Claudia leads two lives. His little daughter Marina (Telana Lynum) loves him—but a ghostly stranger named Mohammed (Maurizio Farhad) now frequently appears only to Jesus to quietly scorch his conscience over a father and daughter he killed by chance and without malice in a Fallujah-like firefight. As a Mexican who enlisted to secure U.S. citizenship, Jesus suffers further when he’s ordered back to Iraq, knowing that he will lose his family if he leaves them for another year. As these pressures become murderous, writer-director Carl Colpaert never loses his balance, despite the David Lynchian leap of faith he asks us to make midway. If anything, this extra layer in the story effectively illuminates the moral choices Jesus must navigate. Colpaert brings together a flawless cast—Arquette, Mota, Lynum, and Farhad are phenomenally gifted, each an exciting new discovery—and he’s pulled it all off on a shoestring budget.