LaKeith Stanfield in The Book of Clarence (2023), Sony Pictures Entertainment
Hollywood never tires of insulting Christians. In the latest project from musician Jay-Z and director Jeymes Samuel, The Book of Clarence provides an ‘alternate’ biblical history that is both blasphemous and racially divisive.
The film is set in Jerusalem in 33 AD, which is depicted as overwhelmingly black. Clarence is a pot-smoking drug dealer and schemer trying to escape debt from a brutal loan shark.
Seeing the rise of Jesus Christ, Clarence tells people he is the true Messiah in order to get people to give him money to get out of trouble. During Clarence’s messanic rise, the film attacks traditional Christian beliefs suggesting that white people have corrupted history and the writings of the Bible, hence why Clarence’s “story” has not been told.
The film also amplifies divisive forces, such as Black Lives Matter and the Nation of Islam.
The main character’s name, Clarence, mirrors that of Clarence Edward Smith (aka “Clarence 13X”), the founder of the Five-Percent Nation of Islam.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a well-known antisemite, has compared white people to Satan and posits that the purpose of the white man is the same as Satan’s with God.
Watch the trailer:
Bounding into Comics reviewed the film:
Imagine growing up and believing that Christianity is the religion of the white man (Aka, “the slave owner”). This will leave some jaded and hateful feelings about Jesus Christ as a savior of the world.
Now, imagine adding those jaded feelings to ridiculous beliefs such as God being a black man, the black man being God, and white people being the devil’s offspring of a failed black scientist. Now imagine Sony giving those racist beliefs a $40 million budget, and this is how we got The Book of Clarence.
Watch an in-depth review of The Book of Clarence.
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