“Revolt of Dignity” started: Carola Rackete, Toni Negri and Edouard Louis support migrant revolt

“Let us rise, in the name of human dignity and all present and future generations,” says the manifesto of the “Revolt of Dignity”, which has been signed a. o. by the writers Edouard Louis and Robert Menasse, the sociologists Saskia Sassen, Harald Welzer and Jean Ziegler and the activists Carola Rackete and Toni Negri (list of signatories). The revolt is part of the Bible film “The New Gospel” which is currently shot around Europe’s Capital of Culture, Matera (South Italy).


“The radical in the New Testament is that it depicts political conditions unfiltered,” writes director Milo Rau in the TAZ about his film adaptation of the New Testament, “The New Gospel”. Jesus is played by the Cameroonian activist and former farmworker Yvan Sagnet. In addition to actors from the Bible films by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Mel Gibson (e.g. Enrique Irazoqui, Ninetto Davoli, Maia Morgenstern and Marcello Fonte), the cast includes refugees, farmworkers and former sex workers – a total of over 150 people from all parts of Italian society.


“At the core of our ‘New Gospel’ is the question of the possibility of a revolt,” Rau says in his directing diary. The “ultra-political” (La Libre Belgique) reinterpretation of the Bible is thus more than just a film: it is “a gospel of freedom that relies on action instead of faith” (Stuttgarter Zeitung). With the “Revolt of Dignity”, Sagnet, Rau and their team have assembled a broad front against the xenophobic policy of the Italian government. It is a politically and artistically unprecedented experiment. For the first time, Italian smallholders and migrants fight side by side and, for the first time, a film about Jesus becomes a true political campaign. Last week, the first protest march in the “Revolt of Dignity” united hundreds of refugees, farmers and activists, with over 30 organisations taking part (see photo above). Videos and media reports on the march and other protest actions of the movement can be found here.


You, too, can support the “Revolt of Dignity”! The manifesto, current film excerpts and media reports on the movement’s activities and all further information can be found on the campaign’s website and Facebook page. Milo Rau’s directing diaries can be read weekly here (TAZ) or here (Tages-Anzeiger). The exact dates of the public film shootings can be found here or in the press kit.


But that’s not all. Parallel to the “New Gospel”, IIPM and NTGent are launching the theatre season throughout Europe. The Flemish Theatre Festival begins this Thursday, September 5, with the play “The Repetition”, which was recently awarded the French Critics’ Prize. Last month the play took international festivals from England to Finland by storm. “Milo Rau pretty much lives up to his legend with this profound and disturbing piece of epic metatheatre,” wrote Time Out about the performances of “The Repetition” at the Edinburgh Festival. The Guardian said, “This is exactly the kind of show that justifies an international festival.”


After performances in five countries, Milo Rau’s latest, hotly debated production – “Orestes in Mosul” – will open the theatre season at the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers in Paris on 10 September as well as the Serbian theatre festival BITEF in Belgrade on 18 September. Just in time for the Italian premiere of “Orestes in Mosul” on 23 September, the Italian translation of Milo Rau’s  “Global Realism” will be released – making the book available in five languages.