Playing at Fantasia 2020: The Prophet And The Space Aliens

23 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 on August 23, 2pm. Buy your virtual ticket here.

Rael may be kooky. He’s not at all spooky. The cult is hardly ooky. What we see in The Prophet and the Space Aliens is simply about family. That’s where this documentary shines. We see the people as they are together rather than the devotion which follows this self-proclaimed prophet everywhere. 

Although this person believes in UFOs and that all the major figureheads from world religions are from space, the insights offered don’t say too much why. As for explaining the other nuances of how this life path works, none of it comes through as preachy. Viewers are left to decide if this oddball religion is for real or not. For the most part, this film by Yoav Shamir is more biopic than gospel.

It charts not only his visit in Rael’s wonderland without bias but also reveals to us this person’s past. Before this conversion, this prophet’s birth name was Claude Vorilhon. Just what caused him to change faith was after he was a musician is mildly explored. He talked about the possibility of being a race car driver, but saw preaching this new religion as a better job.

Religious historian Daniel Boyarin, from the University of California, Berkeley, helps provide balance in this work. He discusses why society needs the divine in their life and what role it plays in the every day. He’s the voice of reason.

Whether this UFO religion is science fiction or not is because of the belief in being able to put one’s consciousness to a new body and cloning. We don’t have the technology for it yet, even though we have seen it in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis (“Tin Man,” et al), Star Trek: TOS (“Return to Tomorrow”), TNG (“The Schizoid Man,” and “Inheritance”) and now Picard. The concept feels like a Rocky Horror Picture Show to me.

3½ Starbursts out of 5

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