The Book of Clarence (2023) | Transcript

In A.D. 33 Jerusalem, Clarence tries to fake being a messiah to escape debt but faces trials and is crucified, only to be resurrected and find faith
The Book of Clarence (2023)

The Book of Clarence (2023)
Director: Jeymes Samuel
Writer: Jeymes Samuel
Running time: 2h 9m
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Release dates: October 11, 2023 (London Film Festival); January 12, 2024 (United States)

Synopsis: In A.D. 33 Jerusalem, Clarence, a Hebrew man struggling with debt and a penchant for hallucinogens, embarks on a misguided quest to impersonate a messiah, inspired by the rising fame of Jesus Christ, in hopes of evading his financial burdens and achieving glory. After losing a chariot race to Mary Magdalene and facing racial profiling by Roman soldiers, Clarence, encouraged by Judas Iscariot, attempts to earn his apostleship by proposing the liberation of gladiator slaves. Despite surviving a deadly challenge through deceit, Clarence’s journey is fraught with hypocrisy, conflict, and eventual capture by the Romans. Alongside a cast of characters including his disapproving twin brother Thomas, the rebellious gladiator Barabbas, and his love interest Varinia, Clarence navigates a series of ill-conceived “miracles” and confrontations with both religious figures and Roman authorities. His path culminates in a miraculous prison escape following a sham trial by Pontius Pilate, only to be crucified beside a man who resembles the traditional portrayal of Jesus. In the end, Clarence is resurrected by Jesus, reconciling his belief and knowledge, and smiling at his newfound faith.

Is The Book of Clarence in the Bible?

“The Book of Clarence” is not a part of the Bible. It’s a fictional story set in the same time period and location as some biblical events, but it follows its own original characters and plot. While the movie mentions real biblical figures like Jesus and John the Baptist, Clarence himself and his storyline are not part of established religious scripture.

The movie aims to explore faith and spirituality through a fictional lens, using the backdrop of familiar historical and religious context for its narrative. So, while it draws inspiration from the Bible, it’s not intended to be considered part of the actual biblical canon.

* * *



Can you spare us some coin?

So as I may get some foods, warmth and shelter.

Anything you can spare will be appreciated.


Out of the way, you dusty runt!

You dongleton!


Hey! Out of the way!

What! Just…


What are you doing? Benjamin, move!


Run him over.


Run him over!

I can’t just run him over!

You can! Quick! Go!

All right! I’ll run him over.


Go, you raggedy roop scoop!

[SHOUTING] Let’s go!

[LAUGHS] Slowing down there, huh, Mary?

Oh, yeah?

[YELLS] She hit me.

ELIJAH: Watch the cart, Clarence!


Watch the cart!

Come on! Whoa.


We’re going to be rich, Clarence!

CLARENCE: Yes, we are, my friend.

For two or three days at least.

Can’t no man outspeed me.

“Outspeed” ain’t a word, Mary! [GRUNTS]




Are you okay?









RUFFIAN: [SHOUTS] Grab his robe. Grab his robe.

CLARENCE: Get off of me!

CABBAGE: Clarence…



Cabbage. [PANTS]

You have no idea what you cost me.

Ah, stay down.


Let this be a learnings.

Get out of Gypsy territory and never come back.

Cabbage, let’s be friends.

Like old times.

Tata, Clarence.

I need my robe.



[GROANS] Get back here, you delinquent dung beetles.


What you gonna do?


Excuse me, excuse me. Move the goats.


MARY: I can smell you from here, Clarence.

Good Lord! Actually hurts my nose.

You okay, Mary?



Nothing even happened to her.

I’m the one you should be concerned about.

Goodbye, heathens.

ELIJAH: She is so blessed.

What is wrong with you?


I lost the race, Elijah.

And the horse.

I’m a dead man walking.

So I suggest you hitch a ride down to Jedediah’s,

beg for mercy.

We hitch a ride.

Okay, “we.”



ELIJAH: It’s him.

CLARENCE: Jesus of Nazareth.

My God.

No, no, God doesn’t exist.

They do.

Shining like stars out here, Elijah.

Stars is an understatement. They are the damn sun.

CLARENCE: And they’re protected. Nobody messes with them.

I want to be like that in ten years.

I want to be like that now.

Minus the bougery.


Is Thomas with him?

Peace be unto you, Thomas.

Peace be unto you, Thomas.

Unto you be peace, Clarence.

Now leave me be.

What’s that supposed to mean?

It means get away from me, disbeliever.

I believe in life itself.

You pray to a man in the sky you’ve never met.


Well, introduce me to him then. Jesus.

Let’s see one of his miracles up close and personal.

So that he may know that

my twin brother is a man of no faith?

The peddler of stolen property?

A seller of ungodly herbs?

A nobody.


I’m not a nobody!

A man that lacks honor is a nobody.

Just because you are twins does not mean you’re brothers, my brother.


My mother was literally on her deathbed when he left home.

Yet I’m the one with no honor?

I’m not a nobody, Elijah.

I’ll have some of this, please.

I knew I smelt correctly.

Peace be unto you, Clarence and Elijah.

Unto you be peace, Zeke.


Where can I take you on this fine day before Jedediah has you both killed?

I need you to take me to my home so I can change clothes, and then to Jedediah’s harem.

That’ll cost you five shekels upfront for obvious reasons.

Like you being too dead to pay me later.

ELIJAH: How’s about we give you six, and you may use the extra to get yourself a bath?

Okay, let’s go.



GURU: This is light.

[SCOFFS] Did you imagine it heavier?

This is a problem with y’all.

Y’all skunk always shortin’ the sack.

I would purchase from somewhere else

if I knew where to get it.


But you don’t.


CLARENCE: Hello, beautiful.



[SNIFFS] What’s that smell?

Huh. Long story.

And what’s that?

This is for you to give to Varinia.

Mother, my Lengunweed?

It helps with the glaucomery.


Better wash before you go see her.

I’m just trying to make sure you don’t die a virgin, son.

Oh, wow.

I’m not a virgin.


What you do at night behind that curtain doesn’t count.


That is not me. That’s the local rats.

Very loud rats.






Mom, one day I’m gonna get you out of here.

Put you in a big home.

Where you can do whatever you want to do.

I promise you.

Home is where you are happy, son.

And I’m happy here with you.

With a son that’s barely able to provide for you?

And another who’s running amok with some false prophet?

Thomas is following his purpose. We have but to love him.

I have but to love you.


be the body, not the shadow.

Hold space.

Yeah, I know.

Hold space.


Ugh, now go wash. You stink!

Mmm. I don’t stink. [GRUNTS]


I do stink.



I don’t really feel good about this, Elijah.

Jedediah killing you will feel worse.

Stop saying that.

ELIJAH: It is the truth.


Elijah and Clarence, huh?

Two rotten eggs.

Out of my way.



Crusty Clarence.

Unto you be peace, Jedediah.

Judging by your unarranged arrival, you most likely lack my money, my horse, and my chariot. Am I correct?

It’s only been a few hours.

You said I had 30 days to pay you back.

Mmmhmm. Now it’s 29 days, 22 hours, or death.

Both of you should be aware before I crucify you, yeah?

I’m, I’m gonna get a little evil first.

Isn’t the act of crucifixion in and of itself evil?

You know, you make a deal with the devil, hmm, it’s gonna cost you a shekel. [CHUCKLES]

Now exit my place of restitution before I render those 29 days to 0.


Don’t worry, Elijah.

I have a plan.

That is exactly what I’m worried about.

Get out!

We’re literally on our way out.

What do you think we’re doing?

Understand, it’s redundant.



For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

Everyone is welcome.

Except you.


But am I not a child of the Lord?

You highfalutin nincompoop.

You want me to baptize you to attain good favor with our Lord so that when you are called to heaven, you and this Bushman will be welcomed with open arms?

Yes, basically.

So, Clarence, you now believe in Jesus?



[SHOUTS] Liar!


[IN NORMAL VOICE] You are merely trying to swindle me by pretending you are now righteous, to seem that you have turned into a believer in the hope that Jedediah the Terrible won’t kill you?


News travels fast in Jerusalem.

You have 30 days to pay him, or he kills you both.

Okay, John, you are magical with this holy water stuff, okay?

I heard that you baptized Jesus himself.

What makes him more worthy than I?

Blasphemous swine!


[SCREAMS] Stop that!

You think you won’t get killed because you’re baptized?

You are not a believer.

But I like you, Clarence.

In spite of your selfish ways, there’s a beautiful soul in there somewhere.

OOkay. If God exists truly

Dear Lord, save this sinner from himself.

Clarence is dumb and stupid, always selling his illegalities when he could just as easily have a regular occupation.

And now he’s in trouble with the village terror, and he’s also in love with said terror’s little sister who he is not in the slightest bit worthy of, I might add.

Dear Lord, he is definitely going to get killed by Jedediah the Terrible, so when you finally meet him, Lord, which is soon, please, let him inside heaven, Lord.

And then kick him out!

So he shall forever know what he’s missing because he did not know the depth of his own idiocy to not repent.



ALL: Amen.

Say it.




ELIJAH: Yes. Wash him.

Wash him.

Okay, stop washing him.

JOHN: What?

ELIJAH: You can let him up.

He’s washed. He’s washed.

JOHN: Takes a minute.

What did you say?

He’s not that sinful.

You want me to come and slap you?

Could you slap it?

JOHN: Gotta…

ELIJAH: I do not think that the baptism worked, brother.

CLARENCE: That’s because it’s all nonsense.

But hopefully it will provide some leniency with Jedediah.



Hold on to that. Don’t touch it.

Give me your names and papers of identification.



[SNIFFS] There’s been a theft in the area.

And you men fit the description of the assailant.

Funny, my friend and I have two entirely different descriptions.

Are you calling me a man of untruth, peasant?

Look, why don’t we settle this once and forever?

Show us a sketch of this assailant.



Who are you looking for? King Tut?


I am Tribune Antoninus.

I’ve been assigned this unruly district to eradicate scarabs such as yourselves.

So that is what the hieroglyphs are all about, huh?

Eradicate us at any cost?

I will push my sword through your esophagus with zero compunction, just to hear the sound of your spinal cord crack.

So, walk away, or your remains will be fed to livestock within the hour.


And the real bad guys get away free.

Allow me to stretch a bit, Elijah.

Yes. Mmmhmm.

[GRUNTS] Okay. Okay.

Thank you. You’re a good man.

I think it’s too extreme.

No. It’s…

It’s powerful.

So strong, right?

Behold! He who the cat refused to drag in, but entered nonetheless.


Peace be unto you, Clarence.

Unto you be peace, Varinia.

How do you look so wet with not a drop of rain outside?

Oh, I, um, just been baptized.

VARINIA: Mmm. Baptized?


VARINIA: Really?

Yes, I’ve found faith. [CHUCKLES]

Really? Wow.

Well, this I need to hear.

Are you okay?

You okay?

[CHUCKLES] My mother made this for you.

It’s a little soaked from the baptism, but it shall dry.

Oh. Give her my thanks.

[CHUCKLES] Well, I know you didn’t come here to give me this.

What’s troubling you?

Um. [INHALES] I’ve been trying to better myself, so that I may be worthy of you.

You are the village mischief maker.

I am not suited to be with a man like that.

Is that why, when you look at me your eyes turn ruby red?

I see it.

Because mine turn sapphire blue when I look at you.

See that?


Whatever is floating around your head, you yourself are not ready for.

[GROANS] ‘Tis you floating around my head, my Godqueen.

That’s because your head resides in the clouds.


With villainous crooks and unscrupulous men without morals.

“Villainous crooks”? Speaking of that, can you talk to your brother for me?


What have you done now?

I took his money for a street race with Mary Magdalene, okay?

And then Cabbage and those rats ambushed me, so I lost.

And if I don’t get his money back, I’m a dead man walking.

Hey, what I need you to do is explain to him that I just got baptized by John himself.

So when he’s administering his evil, maybe he’ll be more merciful.


Why do you always do this?

What are you trying to prove?

You need to get your act together, Clarence.

Jedediah is going to know your baptism is a swindle.

You know, you’re one of the only people that pronounces my name with two syllables, and I love it.

My brother is going to break it into four.


I’m just trying to figure out what it would sound like in four syllables?

Clareancee? Cla

Mmm. That’s very cute.


BENJAMIN: Please spare some

No, no, no.

Make way, Benjamin.

She’s sweet.

Goodness, she is.

Peace be unto you, Clarence, Elijah.

Unto you be peace, Zebedee.

Clarence, do you have the thing on you?

You know I do.


Your money will be waiting for you when you leave.


Clarence, I don’t know why you still worry about Varinia.

She’s nothing like us.

It’s her eyes.

They’re like poetry.

Poetry which I…

I just get lost in the words.

Hmm. That’s deep.


Uh, Clarence, you are not floating?

Ah, you know, gotta stay sharp, gotta think about how to pay back Jedediah.

Open your mind.

All right, all right, give it to me.



[GRUNTS] Elijah, you see this?



I do, I do.

I think you are having an idea.

I’m going to become the 13th apostle of Jesus.

A stupid idea.

The apostles can provide us with protection, power, and most of all, influence.

Jedediah might allow me to take Varinia’s hand in love if he knows this.

ELIJAH: Forget Varinia.

But I like this idea.


You’re floating upside down, dear child.

Deliver me the words that elude you.

Because I know you didn’t come here to deliver me thanks for a headscarf. [CHUCKLES]

Clarence is a giant that thinks himself an ant.


An eagle that thinks he’s a worm.

He can fly if he puts his mind to it.

But instead he crawls, thinking he’s less than he is, and I’m worried for him.

AMINA: Replace that worry with acceptance.

Accept that Clarence will forever venture

where no one else dares.

And get ready to jump, because he will find that cloud soon enough.


CLARENCE: Peace be unto you, Peter.

Clarence. Unto you be peace.


Peace be unto all of you.

ALL: Unto you be peace.

Clarence, I thought I told you

Good to see you too, brother.

What do you need?

Well, uh, truthfully, I thought I might become the 13th apostel.






Huh. You must be Judas Iscariot.

So, Thomas,

this is your brother I hear you tell of?

He looks exactly like you but nothing like you at the same time.

I’m older.

By ten minutes.

Still older.

Anyway, if you would all stop giggling so much, you might come to the realization that it requires many of us to spread the gospel of the Messiah.

Now, who better than me?

I mean, I’ve got the cobblestones on lock.

I, I think I know what it takes.

Yes. You know what it takes.

But you do not possess what it takes, which is, um, selflessness, generosity, placing others’ needs before your own.

Did you put Mother’s needs before your own?

Don’t tell me I’m a bad person.

Just playing the cards I was dealt.

You don’t believe in the Immaculate Conception.

No. No, I didn’t say I didn’t believe in it.

I, I said it’s a bit farfetched.


I don’t mean to disrespect, Peter.

That’s just the thing, Clarence. You’re disrespectful.

For that reason alone, you could never be an apostle.

It’s apostle by the way, not apostel.

Okay, Thomas, why don’t we let Jesus decide?

When does he get home?

That is not the way it works, dear brother.

Look, if this man wanted to change everyone’s perception of him, he would do something like free those slave gladiators from Asher The Torturer.

Of course, he will be killed, but we’ll know he’s not all about himself.

PETER: Would you do it?

Who have you freed?

You would pass judgement on this man, and you don’t even know him.

That is not what I was saying.

That is precisely what you are saying.

How is that what I was saying?

Well, why don’t you explain it to me?

I have already explained it.

I said if he wants to become a 13th apostle, he should do something like free those slave gladiators from Asher The Torturer.

It’s, it’s, it’s here. Let’s bring it down to here.


ELIJAH: Clarence…



You’re about to get both of us killed and you have the nerve to be daydreaming?

CLARENCE: Judas said it couldn’t be done.

So I have to do it.

Stay here if that makes you more comfortable.

ELIJAH: When have I ever left you?

If you die, do not ever ask me for another ride.



These men are all slaves?


How is this even possible?

How was it allowed?

ASHER: Fight harder, slaves!

Even with wooden swords, we aim to kill!

Who are you?

How do you wish me to react to the news you’re about to give?

Peace be unto you, Asher.

I’m Elijah. This is my brother, Clarence.

We were sent by Judas.


Jesus sent us.

Jesus of Nazareth?


The yeahyeah man walking around saying he’s the Messiah?


What does he want with me?

Well, he insist…

He asks that you release your slave gladiators to us.

Do you have any idea how much that will cost me?

Yes, I know.

But you’d be able to free your conscience.

I know this must trouble you, brother.

Twenty slaves.

Do you have that amount?


The idea is that you give them to us for free, and you free up your own mind of all these horrors.

Does that make sense?

Men, cease!

That was easy.

I shall grant you all your freedom right now if you beat these two men to death with your bare hands.



This is a little unfair.

Let us even the odds a bit.

If you can go toe to toe with Barabbas the Immortal…


My best gladiator.

You beat him, and I will release him to you.

Well, I don’t believe that that is evening the odds.

I know.

But I am going to see a kill today.

[LAUGHS] To the arena!



So, where is Babababa bababooboo the Immortal?



There he is.

ASHER: Meet Barabbas, the gladiator who has never been bested.

He claims he is immortal, and we are inclined to believe him.

He also fancies himself a revolutionary.

He wants to bring down Rome.

By himself!




If you defeat this thorn in my side,

I’ll release him to you.


ASHER: And if you think of going soft on him, Barabbas,

I will test your immortality with my own sword.

BARABBAS: Those who are about to die… salute you.

You hit me unprovoked?

CLARENCE: Uhhuh, look alive.


CLARENCE: Come on.





Look at this. This is the best you got?

You can do better than Whoa!




Okay. All right.




What the hell?

That’s a hard face.








You finish?












Where are you?





Let’s finish him.

ELIJAH: Clarence. Come on, get up.

This is not the time for rest. Get up.







You’re good.

You’re free.



ASHER: You cannot have Barabbas.

Take someone else.

Is Asher The Torturer not a man of his word?

You said I can go free.

So give me my freedom!

Give me my freedom!

You’re a useless man!

After all I’ve done for you

CLARENCE: I don’t want him.

I came here to free all of the slaves, not one.

You can have Barabbas the ApparentlyNotImmortal.

He can go burden someone else with his talk of killing Romans.

Clarence, I owe you my life, Black King.

Where’d you learn to fight like that?

CLARENCE: Well, your men fight by rules.

Where I’m from, you fight to survive.

It’s a big difference.

That was clever.

But beating me and killing me are two separate things.

I am immortal.



[SHOUTS] Freedom!



You actually freed a slave.

Well done, younger brother.

Ten minutes.

JUDAS: And it is none other than the Almighty Barabbas, eh?

To be honest, Clarence, I didn’t believe you had it in you.


You fool! Get off me!

How dare you!

Yeah. Well, that’s my brother.

Now, can I become an apostle?

May I have a word, brother?

Oh. I love you, Clarence,

like I love the Lord himself.

But you’ll never be one of us.

You are destined for nothing more than failure.

I’d stop following the Messiah before I’d ever ask him to allow you into our movement.

I don’t even want you to change your ways.

I don’t want to be reminded of what was.

Just disappear.

You know, Thomas…

I need you to remember… I need you to remember that you’re the one that left Mother and I.

No. There’s an explanation…

Do not, do not interrupt me!

You’ve never appreciated who we are or where we come from.


I bet Jesus doesn’t know you have a mother who you refuse to acknowledge exists.

“Honor thy father and thy mother!”


Knowledge… is stronger than belief.

JUDAS: You what?

Knowledge is stronger than belief!

You believe that God exists b-because you know nothing of the world, which is why you do the silly shit you do.

But I, I possess the knowledge.

[INHALES SHAKILY] I possess the knowledge that there is no God.

Which makes every single last one of you, every single last one, liars!

Or fools.

My brother, you are mistaken–

Let’s go.

ELIJAH: So what are we going to do now?

We do not have protection or faith to hide behind.

BARABBAS: Faith is not something you hide behind.

You stand in front of it.

I know you don’t believe in the Lord, but he is real.

And we are his children.

That’s why I never use any derogatory term referring to or describing my people, because we are better than that.

We are righteous beings.


I’m gonna become the new Messiah.

What, nigga?

BARABBAS: What are we doing here?

CLARENCE: Jesus’s mother lives there.

According to Zeke.

ELIJAH: How do you know that?

I am Zeke. I know where everyone lives.

CLARENCE: I need to figure out what inspires him, where he learned all of his little tricks.

If I get his sermons, then I can just replicate what he does.

Think about it.

Barabbas, you pretend you can’t walk.

Elijah, you can’t see.

And Zeke, you pretend you can’t whateverthehell.

And I’ll perform the tricks.

Then I’ll preach Jesus’s words, and it’ll work.

It’ll be golden. Trust me.

Think about all the money they give him.

You ever seen Jesus buy a pair of sandals?

This doesn’t feel right, King.

I’m getting my life back, Barabbas.

If Destiny won’t come knocking, then I’ll put a sword to Destiny’s neck.

This isn’t like stealing honeyed wine from the Romans.

This is different.

It’s gonna require massive testicular fortitude.

Are you with me?

[SIGHS] Well, if it means Jedediah the Terrible doesn’t kill us both, all hail the new Messiah.

ZEKE: I don’t know what house.

It should be here somewhere.

Everybody, stay quiet. Pray they don’t stop us.





We’re looking for the man they call Jesus of Nazareth.

Show me your papers.


Don’t give him anything.

What did you say, scum?

I see no scum here.



You approach us without showing ID yourself?

For all I know, you might be Jesus disguised as a gluteus maximus.

Why do you say these words when you know

I’ll kill you for it?

Whoa, whoa!

Show me your identification.

Barabbas. [GRUNTS]

Move along. [CLICKS TONGUE]


CLARENCE: Trying to get us killed?

God did not make men to be treated like pigs by other men.

Yes, and God did not also make men swordproof.

I am swordproof.

I’ve been sworded many times.

Twice in my thigh, my left arm, through my hand, right shoulder, and through my mouth.

That’s why I’m telling you I am immortal.

[CHUCKLES] Negro, please.

The only weak point in my body is my heel.

That’s the only way they can kill me.

A beautiful story.


But I must make haste, my friend.

Wait here.

I’ll be back. [WHISTLING]

Peace be unto you.

Is, uh, Mother Mary here?

Is that Thomas?

[CHUCKLES] No. I’m Clarence, his twin brother.


Uh, I just wanted to talk to you about your son.

Let him through.


What do you want with my son?

Uh… My friends and I, you know, we wanted to get more information aabout Jesus, see maybe what his in… inspirations were.

Perhaps learn how he does all his tricks.

What tricks?

Hmm? Oh, uh, you know, healing people, raising people from the dead, you know, uh, walking on water, things like that.

His tricks.

My son has never performed a trick in his life.

The people call them miracles, you know.

It’s just so you know his Father is real.



[CHUCKLES] Okay. Um, I just wanna know how he does his… illusions. How does he…

Young man. [SIGHS] If you were a tool in my carpenter’s box, you wouldn’t be the sharpest.



The light in his head, it burns a little dim.


Listen, Mother Mary, you don’t need to tell me untruths, okay?

I don’t believe in God.

Nor do I intend to.

What I wanna do is find out how, how Jesus gathers the hope of people so that I may do the same.

None of them are untruths, my child.


And you were a virgin when you found out you were carrying child?

Ow! Ow!

That is for your sarcasm.

The word “virgin” is twisted.

Some say “unsexed.”

Some say “unmarried.”

I was ununun, and that is God’s business.

Joseph and I were not married when my son was born.

Okay, well…

So you are his papa?


This guy!

I’m just trying


The Lord is.


I was minding my own virgin business, just being a virgin, and an angel called Gabriel came upon me.

And said, “Greetings, O favored one. The Lord is with you. And you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”

And you believed all of this?


Joseph didn’t believe any of it.

But then the same angel, Gabriel, came upon him.


And behold, my son was born.

The son of God.


Sorry, I don’t, I don’t mean to…

This is the story you’re running with?


It is the only story there is.

If you ever saw him at any point in his life, you would know. [GASPS]

“This is the Messiah!”

When he was eight years old, he was making clay pigeons on the street.

A stranger said to him, “You should not be doing that on the Sabbath.”

Jesus apologized.


MOTHER MARY: [IN ENGLISH] He clapped his hands.

And all the clay pigeons came to life and flew away.


He was always special.

[SOFTLY] Everyone knew it.


You really believe this. Okay.

Well. [SIGHS] Listen, I came here because I wanted to know how Jesus did all of his tricks.

But apparently, you’re gonna tell me the same story everyone else tells me. So I

[IN NORMAL VOICE] My dear, dear child, you find faith.

Then you will find all the answers you seek.


Too much Lengunweed.

What a dumbass.

Let’s talk about belief.

Belief will be the undoing of all mankind.

Two gladiators face one another.

One believes that he’ll be the victor.

The other knows he’ll defeat his opponent.

Which man shall win?

Knowledge is stronger than belief.

ZEKE: Knowledge.

Say it again.

Knowledge is stronger than belief.

[LOUDER] Knowledge is stronger than belief!

He who was once a dirty blind bat is now an allseeing eagle.


I can see. I can see!


I can see!


Again, knowledge is stronger than belief!


I can walk!

I can walk!



Please. Cure me next.

Oh. The Lord can only commit to one miracle a day, my friend.

I’m sorry.

Shekels. Shekels on shekels.

Shekels on shekels on shekels! [LAUGHS]

Do you believe that a man can rise from the ashes?

Breathe again?

Liar. It’s impossible.

This man is dead.

[INHALES] I’m sleepy.

CLARENCE: O, dead one, rise!

Open your eyes.

Open your eyes.



Elijah, speak… Elijah.




CLARENCE: You give to the Roman man every day.

Now give to your Lord.

ELIJAH: There must be more than 1,000 shekels here.

Brother, you can pay back Jedediah.

You have enough here to get your mother a new place.

You can give me some because you love me.


I can get Mary Magdalene into my tent.

CLARENCE: You are like that round, fiery object that constantly floats in the sky that none of us can stare at.

A miracle.

Look at me.

Look at me.

A miracle of creation, and we ignore it every single day as we ignore the majestic miracle of our own existence, which is why we still question His existence.

Knowledge is stronger than belief.

CABBAGE: Excrementum!

That man is a fraud!

[CHUCKLES] Cabbage.

I’ve known him since I was little.

I robbed him a few times.

It’s a miracle you’re still the same height.

WOMAN: Look, it’s him.

The Messiah.

I’ve known men that own slaves.


Who see nothing wrong with their actions.

How can we put such value on human… Such…

How can we put such little value on human life?

How can one man own another man?

[CHUCKLES] Yet your…

I shouldn’t laugh.

Laughing makes it seem… [COUGHS]

I’m here to teach… I am here to enlighten you. I am…

Say it, Clarence.

Commit to it.

This is why we are here.

I am your new Messiah.


I am your new Messiah!

I am your new Messiah!

MAN: I believe!

This man lying on the spirit world.

I think he’s making a lot of sense.

He’s making a lot of money.

CLARENCE: Those who are…

I might have to put interest on what he owes.

Pray to the false prophet, if you will, but I am your Messiah.

I need to talk to my brother.

BARABBAS: Not you.

CLARENCE: Barabbas, let him through.

THOMAS: Peace be unto you.

Unto you be peace.

Now leave.

What are you doing?

Why is that any of your concern?

Because you’re pretending to be the Messiah.

Well, if you know what I’m doing, why did you ask me what I’m doing?

Because I want to know why you’re doing it.

I’m sure you do.

So you can scribble it in your little

Gospel of Thomas, huh?


How dare you come here and tell me what you expect of me.

A man who serves everyone everywhere, but turns his back on the one that birthed him.

You claim to be a man of God.

What God has you deny your family to worship him?

Maybe it’s the same God that would have the entire world worship him while children die in the streets.

You’re not a Messiah.

You don’t even talk like that.

Talking like a Roman.

You’re not a Messiah, Clarence.

And you undo everything the real Savior is doing by lulling people into a false hope.

There is no Messiah.

There is no Savior.

Weren’t you the one that said that you never wanted to see me again?

Wasn’t that you?

People of Jerusalem, I shall perform my final miracle by making this man vanish.



We did it. Look.

What is wrong?

The plan is working.


This is what you wanted, right?

Who am I?

[EXHALES] What have I become?

I need you to take me somewhere.


This is more than you said they’re worth.

Keep the rest.

Let them go.

These are not the deeds of an ordinary man.

They will carve your name in history for this.

CLARENCE: Don’t tell them my name.

You heard him.

You’re all free to go.


ELIJAH: You cannot undo this choice, brother.

You will lose your life.

Twenty more will live.


You’re unrecognizable underneath all of this.

Peace be unto you too, Varinia.




You look like a purveyor of women.


Can we walk?



So, what’s with all this Messiah talk?

A lady came in saying she saw you walking on water.

[CLARENCE CHUCKLES] I can’t even swim.

But I am a changed man, Varinia.

Not the same person I was before.


I don’t believe in change.

I believe in growth.

Tricking common folk into believing you’re the Savior is not growing, it’s lying.

I’m not compromising the truths I’m giving to the people just because miracles aren’t real.

Yes, you are.

Because you yourself don’t believe it.

When you put it that way…

I started the lies as to have your brother stop trying to kill me.

Then I continued the lies as to have you see that I’m not a nobody.

I don’t know what it is about me, Varinia, that has you think I have no ambition.


I’m not a man without faults.

But I’m also not a man without purpose.

In the end, I guess we’re all just what we are.

And I am spirit over sandals in love with you.

Clarence, I told you before

You’re taken.



[CHUCKLES] I’m not taken. I just…

You’re taken.


Listen, I don’t know who you’ve been speaking to, or who’s speaking untruths

Place your hands on mine.



And bow your head and close your eyes.

Now lift your head and open your eyes.


Tell me you aren’t taken.


Meet me at the tent tonight, okay? It’ll be fun.

And I promise, no miracles.


What’s wrong?

Samson and Goliath. Hello!

VARINIA: Excrementum! You should run.

I’m not afraid of them, Varinia.

Any man that follows rules blindly is easily overcome.

Walking away from a bad situation

doesn’t make you a nobody.

When will you grow?


GOLIATH: You bastard! Stop running!



[CHUCKLES] Dingbats.


What the…












Mary! Hey!

What is this?


That whore sexes with Roman scum.


You dongletons!





Ahhh! [GRUNTS]








[IN ENGLISH] Why do you condemn this woman and man to death?

That whore sexes the Romans.

JESUS: And you deem this to be a sin?



JESUS: Then let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

But before you do…

it is Jezebel, right?

How do you know my name?

JESUS: Don’t worry.

Soon everybody will.

Who are you to come forward to eat at our feast?


I am he who exists from the undivided.

And you, husband.

Leave the donkey alone, eh?


I smelt it on you!

No. I…





GURU: Clarence!

You have any Lengunweed?

Oh. I don’t do that anymore.

See, I’m what you would call graduated.

You’re no Messiah to me.

You’re simply an imitator of my shine.

Remove yourself, heathen.


[MURMURS] This cockroach calling me a heathen.

[SIGHS] You know, I love the way you do that.

Just monotone.


“Remove yourself.”

Clarence, brother. I seen him work.

Jesus. I seen it with my own two eyes.

What Uh, okay.

He’s healed Mary’s wounds and everything.

Calm down.


What are you talking about?

He made the stones stop midair, Clarence.

He stopped them, and then dropped them, right there in front my eyes.

Clarence, it was–

Okay, okay.

Elijah, you’re hysterical.

ELIJAH: I’m not hysterical.

People were screaming

“Dirty slut!”

CLARENCE: No, it’s not real.

“Roman love”

[LOUDLY] He’s not…

Why you so mad?

He’s not real.

He’s real.

Whatever you saw…

Whatever you saw wasn’t real.

It was real.

Where is he now?

I do not know. He left with Mary, though.

If she left with the Messiah, she’s now a changed woman.

She will lose her headdress and everything.

VARINIA: Well, should she keep her headdress?

You came.

I arrived.



Stay present.

[KISSES] Come on.

JUDAS: There is one of the Messiahs.

He goes by the name of Clarence.

But be careful.

He has one of his protectors with him.





MAN: Clarence.


I’ll give you the money I owe you. I promise.

Just give me some time.

All is forgiven. [KISSES]

Thank you.

Bless you.

Somebody get this man a drink.

Ah. Thank you very much.

Thank you.


Don’t think any of this is impressing me.

You’re not impressed?

Come here.



Clarence. Clarence.


What happened?

I just kissed her.

Oh, no, Clarence.

Yeah, I know.

I know. I


Oh, no, Clarence.

She set you up.

Why, Varinia?

I didn’t know.



Ahhh! Barabbas. Elijah. Back.

WOMAN: You can’t hit the Messiah.




Leave him alone, please.

This is me leaving him alone.



…do one of your miracles to escape, hmm?

Fly or something.


That was a good one.

You’ve been running around and telling everybody that you’re the Messiah.

Preaching this false prophecy.

Yet you cannot miracle me the money that you owe?

Men, teach this fraud a lesson.

Then your men will die this day…

No. Barabbas.

…Mr. Jedediah. Let us begin.

CLARENCE: No. Barabbas.

Those who are about to die… salute you, King.




You see the foolishness that you’ve caused?

[CHUCKLES] Check the score.

No need.

All of your men will die here tonight.






We have a warrant for the arrest of all the self-proclaimed Messiahs of Judaea.

That includes you, Clarence.

Over your dead body.

Ah. You must be the hero.


Great spirit. Why is there always one?

Well, thank you for revealing yourself.

So we may get this out of the way swiftly.




Wait for…

You darkened peasant!

That blade was Egyptian steel.






He slapped me.

I know. I know.

Men don’t slap men.

I know.

Women slap men.

Listen to me. You need to run.

I’m not scared of them.

Barabbas, run.

We’re stronger than them.


We are superior to them.



CLARENCE: He did nothing wrong.

DECIMUS: You see that?

You see how he charges towards me to attack me again?

You’re all my witnesses. I’m in danger of my life.

What? He’s running away.

Hand me a spear.


Let it go! Let it go!



Stop him.

WOMAN: Let him go!

Run! Run!

Thank you.


No! No!


What an incredibly resistant rodent.


Aim for his legs.

No, no, no, no. No!


CLARENCE: You bastards!

Let me go! Let me go!


CLARENCE: You’ve stopped him.

You coward!


You cowards killed Barabbas!


You bastard!

Let me go.

So you killed that man in cold blood, huh?

Centurion, retrieve my spears.





What in the entire holy

The wrong heel, motherfucker.

I am…







Yes! Yes! Run!

After him!

Bring the Messiah.

Shed blood if he doesn’t come willingly.


You really desire the execution of yourself and your friends?

I cannot let you take this man.

Clarence is one of the good guys.

Yes, we have our occasional issues.

Plus, he’s always in above his head.

But to stand here and watch you take him, torture him, and most certainly crucify him…


Roman, you must not know who I am.

You are Jedediah the Terrible, correct?

Contrary to popular belief, I despise the name.

Well, life is full of that which we hate.

Take your people, for example.

From your beliefs to the way the sun hits your burnt skin…


ANTONINUS: …I repudiate all of you.

[SNIFFS] See, I know the root of the problem with those who exude such copious amounts of hate.

[SNIFFS] It actually stems from your self-awareness, hmm?

Knowing that you’re weak.

In reality, you are a frightened little boy, dressed up in a metal-plated costume.


And what is it that I’m frightened of?


Who are truly unconquerable.

Us who, try as you may, refuse to be defeated, walking unwavering in hope, while shining beneath the rays of the sun, hmm.

Us, who cradle this world with joy, even though you take everything, everything that we have.

Us, who possess the knowledge that there are no oppressors, my friend.

Just weak men.

Knowledge is a great thing, Jedediah the Terrible.

You can do tremendous things with it.

Like having you calmly tell your men to stand aside solely because I possess the knowledge that the girl I’m about to decapitate…


…is your beloved sister, Varinia.

An impressive soliloquy.

Well, the next time I lay eyes on you, you die.

Bring him.

WOMAN: Oh, no!

[GRUNTS] Get your hands off me.

He’s okay. He’s okay.

Clarence is a survivor.



Where is he?

Bring in the prisoner!

You don’t always have to shout.

MAN 1: Messiah!




This is him?

You are he?

Depends on who “he” is.



Clarence, this new Messiah.

My name’s Clarence.

But I’m no Messiah.


CLARENCE: Admittedly, I’ve broken some laws.

I grow and sell Lengunweed and things I steal from the Romans, including that quite delicious honeyed wine.

And there’s a girl…

Ohho. Isn’t there always?

CLARENCE: I suppose.

But this girl didn’t see me as I see her.

So I took a deal with her brother, and that deal went sour.

And he said that if I didn’t pay him in 30 days, that he’d kill me.

So I came up with a plan to become a Messiah.

As you do.

And show everyone, including my brother, that I’m not a nobody.

And hopefully get the girl that I…

I loved.


Did you get the girl?

No. I didn’t get the girl.

I got this trial.

MAN 2: Liar! He’s the Messiah.

No, no, I’m not.

MAN 3: He’s the Messiah!

Stop that.


CLARENCE: Stop. It was all just silly tricks.

It was tricks. It wasn’t real.


My lies just spiraled out of control.

You see, you’ve left me in a tad of a predicament.

I’ve had instructions straight from Rome to crucify all these socalled Messiahs.

“Mess” being the operative syllable in that word.

You, however, claim to be guilty only of the crime of loving a woman that does not in turn love you back.

Is that right?

Precisely. Yes, Your Honor.

Unfortunately for you, you also confess to the crime of fraud.

To being a charlatan.

A purveyor of lies and narcotics.

You’re an animal who preys on the despair of the poor, who abuses their trust in you for your own illgotten gains.

You are confessing to those crimes, are you not?

Well, damn. When you put it like that…


MAN 4: Liar!


What are you doing?


You’ve gone and displeased your people, Clarence.

But I think you’re still lying.


I think, you believe you are the Messiah but you lie now to save your own hide, so you can return out there and stir up a widespread rebellion.

That’s not true. That is…

That could not be further from the truth.


Why don’t we go find out?

Bring him to the flooding tank.


What? No. Wait, wait, wait. Wait!

I’m not the Messiah! I’m not the Messiah!

I’m not the Messiah!

Wait. Stop! Decimus, I’m not…



My problem is that I don’t believe in your god.

I do believe, however, that you people should be allowed to see for yourselves.

See that there is no Messiah, that there is no Savior, and that your god is a myth.

A product only of your denial of the fact that all of your lives, your miserable little lives, belong to Rome!

Clarence, if you’ll be so kind as to walk on water right across this pool here into my welcoming arms.

If you manage it,

I’ll be the first Roman to join the Church of Clarence.

I can’t walk on water.

I can’t even swim.

PONTIUS: I figured as much.

Okay, uh,

once I fall in, then you’ll let me free?

Once you die from drowning, you’ll be free to go. Proceed





Don’t cry.

It’s okay.






[LAUGHS] What?

Oh, shit!

Oh, shit. [GRUNTS]


Oh. This is crazy.




WOMAN: Messiah!

CLARENCE: I’m not a Messiah!

No, I’m not. It’s some kind of trick.

What is this?

Restrain him!

No! Hey!

All right! All right!


I wouldn’t have let you drown.

But now I have to crucify you.



THOMAS: Peace be unto you, Clarence.

Unto you be peace, Thomas.

Are you well?

I could be better.

CLARENCE: As could we all.

THOMAS: I saw you walk on water.

CLARENCE: That was God.

THOMAS: So you believe?

CLARENCE: No, no, I don’t believe.

I know.

I’m sorry, Thomas, truly,

that everything turned out this way.

No, no, you don’t apologize.

Clarence, I’m sorry.


For never taking you seriously.

I’m sorry for leaving home and abandoning Mother.

If I’d have been more of a brother, you would’ve never ended up in a place like this.


This is exactly how it’s supposed to be.

[SNIFFLES] Brother, please forgive me.

I love you, brother.

I love you.

JESUS: That which is hidden from you will become clear to you.

For there is nothing hidden… that will not become manifest.


One of you negroes is a canary.

An information revealer.

Which one is it?

Let me kill him.


The one who dips Mary Magdalene’s bread into the gravy.


We must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

This is not our cause.

It’s our time to strike.

We are revolutionaries.

Not pacifists.


JESUS: Your will is at battle with your conscience.

The sin in you does not want you to consume the bread.


You are wrong.

While the good in you wants to confess.

You have become soft, Jesus.

Listen to me.

I am…

I don’t even like Mary’s cooking.


She uses too much garlic.



[CRIES] Stop it.




It’s the gravy, man.

[CHUCKLING] It’s the gravy.

It cancels out the garlic.


Now, this does not mean I betrayed anyone.






Now I hope this is nothing sexual.

I’ve been looking at the statues all day. I’ll tell you.

I completely understand why the Romans are always so angry.

[LAUGHS] I like this man.

I do, I like you.

Which is why if you give me Jesus of Nazareth, I will let you walk free.

Excuse me?

You know, he has them believing that all men are born equal.

It’s a disturbing thought, I know.

You, however…

You lust for power and wealth, position.

You long to be somebody.

Give me the location of Jesus and I will give you more coin 1,000 shekels.


You are funny. Don’t be 2,000 shekels.

30 silver coins or death. Your choice.

Well, I’d rather take silver than death, obviously.

But I’ll have you know, Jesus is not his real name.

Do continue.

His name is Judas Iscariot.

Yeah. He told everyone to overthrow Rome.


I said…




“I’d never overthrow Rome.”

“I love Rome.”


“My best friend’s Roman.”

Judas is not the Messiah.

He’s already working for us.


You’re not the one we want. Take the deal.

You’re just a placeholder until we have the man himself.

I won’t give him up.

You truly believe your Messiah’s life to be that valuable?

Even if I thought he was a beggar, I’d die before I give him up to Rome.

Well, then death it is. Take him away.

Is there anything we can do for Clarence?

I have spoken to my father about it.

He has not yet answered me.

He will.




Please spare us some coin so I may buy me some food, warmth, shelter.

Anything you can spare will





Peace be unto you.

And also to you.


TALITHA: Varinia…

Clarence will be okay.

It’s not his story to die on the cross.

BENJAMIN: Excuse me?


[SMACKS LIPS] Excuse me.

I wish to be made clean.

We can rebuild him.






TALITHA: He looks…

He looks just like Jesus.

[SCOFFS] You haven’t even seen Jesus.

His essence.

Look at him. Pure and white.

Oh. Mmm.


So trustworthy.







Look at him.


CENTURION: Looks like another false Messiah.


VARINIA: Clarence.

Clarence, are you okay?

Guess it’s too late for me to change now, huh, Varinia?


Why would you set me up?

VARINIA: Set you up?

My brother had his men following me.

That’s how they found you.

But then why did you run?

I ran because… [SIGHS]

I lose myself when I think of you.

And look where we’ve ended up.

[SIGHS] Varinia, I don’t even know what I was thinking,

trying to be in a relationship with you. [CHUCKLES]

I was crazy.


That wasn’t crazy.

You’re perfect, Varinia.


Perfectly who you’re supposed to be.

That perfect girl who lives nearby that you can just never get close to.

Your perfect smile…

Your perfectly shaped eyes…

Your perfectly

Perfectly yours.


Perfectly too late.

I am to be crucified, Varinia.



Clarence, look at me.




Clarence. [SOBS]

It’s okay.


GUARD: [GROANS] That’s enough.

VARINIA: No, wait!

GUARD: Your time’s over.

VARINIA: Get off of me!

Get your hands off of me!






Ahhh! [GRUNTS]









Elijah, no.



Back. Stay back.




No, please!





Hold space.


GUARD: Come on!


They always take our babies!

They always take our babies!







Cabbage. Cabbage, listen to me.

We learned!

Let go.


Let go.



Clarence… Get off!

Clarence! Ahhh!

No! Clarence!






Do you hear your Messiah?


He begs for the mercy of Rome!

Tell me, Messiah.

Where is your god? Hmm?

Where is he?

BARABBAS: [WHISPERS] Clarence! Clarence!











May God be with you, Clarence. [SOBS SOFTLY]

May God be with you, Clarence.

PETER: My Lord, I don’t understand it.

We can leave.

We are to wait here, Peter.

Judas will give me up.

For 30 silver coins.

They will arrest me in three days.

It is then I will be crucified.


This is why I was sent here.
























God’s only mistake.


Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

BENJAMIN: Oh, please.


I’ve got a prayer for you.

Dear Heavenly Father, please kill all these people.

Fire and brimstone will suffice.

But where possible, give them lava. [GROANS]

Especially that prick painting me.

We’re all just men and women.

Most of us have no idea what we’re doing.

By the time we figure it out, it’s too late.

I have spent my entire life witnessing the cruelty of man.

Those who had plenty did not even spare me one drop of water.

I have literally had the clothes lifted from off my back.


I’ve been one of those men.

And for that I’m truly, truly sorry.

I’ve been a victim of my own ignorance.

That’s just it.

We need enlightenment.

Not punishment.

Well, good luck with that.



You can look at me, brother.


[SIGHS] It’s okay.



My friend…

My brother…

This cannot be the end.


Please tell me you have a plan.


This cannot be the end, Clarence.

I’m happy to hear you say my name with two syllables.


My brother, I’m so scared.

No need to be scared.

We’ve got God with us.

All of us.


Barabbas was right.

You are a king.



Pierce him with this.

He will not live the hour.









Find your way back to me, son.

Find your way back to me, son.



Rise, Clarence, son of Amina.



You were a man of no faith, yet freed the slaves at your own peril.

You did not believe in me, then came to know I am the resurrection and I am the life.

The one who believes in me will live even though they die.


My Lord.






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A Sacrifice (2024)

A Sacrifice (2024) | Transcript

American social psychologist Ben Monroe investigates a local cult connected to a disturbing event, while his daughter becomes embroiled with a mysterious local boy.

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