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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Religious satire impressed this Muslim

Photo by Moris Puccio/Courtesy of Legendary Entertainment Main character Clarence and his best friend Elijah try to pay off their debt in the most creative and unorthodox ways.

OLLA MOKHTAR
campus editor
olla.mokhtar@my.tccd.edu

 Think of the most heinous thing you’d do to avoid being crucified. I guarantee you Clarence superseded you. 

“The Book of Clarence” was overwhelmingly entertaining. In fact, as a Muslim I cackled harshly and shamelessly in the theater. I appreciated the fact that I didn’t have to understand any Biblical references except for the widely known story of Jesus. It felt inclusive all the while being heavily satirical. 

The story of a citizen of Jerusalem when Jesus was alive. Clarence, played by LaKeith Stanfield, stuck out like a sore thumb as he was the only known disbeliever of God, which was the complete opposite of his twin brother, Thomas the Apostle, also played by Stanfield. 

The brothers come at a crossroads when Clarence decides he wants to become the 13th disciple, but this is not without an ulterior motive. 

Clarence is unfortunately in love with the person whose brother he owes a large debt to, Varinia. While he doesn’t have the means to pay her brother, Jedidiah the Terrible, Clarence decides to make the whole town believe he is now a Christian. That way Jedidiah wouldn’t be allowed to kill Clarence. His logic is that if he’s the 13th disciple of Jesus then he would be untouchable. He would garner the protection of the people as well as the disciples and be, in effect, untouchable. 

“The Book of Clarence” follows his journey into figuring out how to avoid Jedidiah’s plan to crucify him if the debt isn’t paid. Even resorting to naming himself the Messiah and performing faux miracles in the process. 

The film’s aesthetics were set perfectly, with the traditional garments of the people of Jerusalem and the majority Black cast. As someone who’s Sudanese and who’s culture also wears thobes regularly, it was nice to see something like that in an American theater. The colors and the set itself were beautifully done. 

And of course, I greatly appreciated Stanfield’s looks. The traditional garb of the Jerusalem men at least, was exquisite. It made Stanfield look even more attractive and the robes, while essential for costume, made me even more excited to watch it. 

Not to mention the songs that were all sung and made by Jeymes Samuel, the director of the film. The effort he put into the film showed and I would be very surprised if he didn’t win an Oscar. 

In fact, it had me searching on TikTok for men in thobes so much, they have now infiltrated my “For You” page – beautiful. 

Stanfield in a thobe and acting like a Messiah was one of the most captivating things I’ve seen. Aside from the fact that it was attractive, his interpretation of the role was played well. Playing opposite characters and making it seem like they were truly different people is something that was indisputably talent.  

While the movie is not based on any Biblical stories and is for the most part fiction, the directors integrated both seamlessly. They had input from the actual Biblical story of Jesus while giving the audience the satirical and arguably fable-like essence of Clarence’s story.  

To be completely honest, I thought I wasn’t going to understand anything because it is based on Biblical references I wasn’t taught growing up. But I was pleasantly surprised. So, if you’re looking for something to make you cackle, it made this Muslim do just that, so go ahead and watch it. 

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