Killing Jesus


In this youthful revenge saga based on true events, an idealistic Colombian student witnesses her father’s murder and is aghast at the ineptitude and apathy of the local police force. Time to take matters into her own hands.

“Filmed in an intimate, handheld style, with a cast of nonprofessional actors, Killing Jesus paints a gritty, raw portrait of grief, revenge, systemic poverty and inescapable cycles of violence.” – Brent McKnight, Seattle Times

Inspired by her social activist father Jose Maria (Camilo Escobar), tomboyish university student Paula (Natasha Jaramillo) balances her days between studying photography and organizing against Colombia’s deeply corrupt legal establishment. But when she witnesses Jose Maria’s assassination in broad daylight, Paula is thrown into a state of shock, fear, and the nightmare of dealing with an inept and uncaring police force. Lost in a daze of sadness and rage, she unexpectedly catches a glimpse of her father’s killer, brooding young thug Jesus (Giovanny Rodriguez), in a nearby club, setting the young student on a path of revenge, of exacting any form of justice she can. Soon, Paula finds herself immersed inside of Jesus’ aimless, poverty-stricken world, quickly discovering that they might both be victims of the same broken system. Can she go through with her self-imposed mission, or will her shifting conscience alter her priorities? In this thrilling and powerful semi-autobiographical first feature, director Laura deftly handles a freestyle cinematographic style and a cast of non-professionals to create something deeply personal and brazenly political. (Dir. by Laura Mora Ortega, 2017, Colombia, in Spanish with English subtitles, 95 mins., Not Rated). Other festivals: Toronto; San Sebastian; Seattle | Arizona Premiere