Film and TV

Jesus vs. Bono: Who would win? The founder of PeaceJam intends to find out

Come Saturday, Colorado's poised to have more incoming messiahs than anybody ever asked for, including the evangelicals; besides being the scheduled day of Jesus' second coming according to Biblical number-cruncher Harold Camping, it's also the day Bono comes to Denver with U2 for a show at Invesco Field -- all of which brings up, at least in PeaceJam founder and filmmaker Ivan Suvanjieff's mind, an interesting query: Which one has the bigger messiah complex? Also, if the two got in a fight, who would win? Not one to sit around pondering life's philosophical queries, Suvanjieff has a plan, and it involves taking those two important questions to the people.

"Sometime early this year," Suvanjieff remembers, "I came across Harold Camping's prediction that the world would end May 21, 2011. Now, Harold Camping had been wrong before -- he made that same prediction about fifteen years ago or so -- maybe Jesus got bumped from the flight, I don't know. Around that same time, I saw that U2 was coming on the same day Jesus was supposed to be in Colorado. I found this interesting, because at the time, my wife and I had just completed 2012: The True Mayan Prophesy, and we got to talking about all these different things: Is Jesus coming back on December 21, 2012, is he going to come back May 21, 2011? And I started asking around, and I got a lot of interesting replies."

He was intrigued, and his plan this weekend basically involves more of that -- asking around. Early Saturday morning, he'll get up and go down to Colorado Springs to try to find out two important things: One, where is Jesus? (He does admit, though, that the new breaking news is that Jesus isn't scheduled to arrive until 6 p.m., so "that throws another wrench in things.") And two, could Jesus beat Bono at arm-wrestling? After a round of questions with whatever churches will talk to him and random passers-by, he'll head up to Invesco and ask U2 fans another set of questions: One, is Bono the Messiah? And two, could Bono beat Jesus at arm-wrestling?

"And of course," he admits, "I'm going to do the obligatory Michael Moore thing and go to the stage door and tell them I urgently need to speak to Bono about this matter. They're going to turn me down, but that's the magic of filmmaking."

Just for the record, Suvanjieff nurses a healthy and obvious distaste for both components at work here, but not a complete one. On the Bono side, he says, "I was at U2's first show in Boston, and what I saw there was a great rock 'n' roll band. And ever since, there's been a band going around for 25 years calling itself U2, but that band does not rock. Now you've got this short Irish guy telling everybody they should love each other, who's so concerned about human kind. But then he's also in cahoots with Live Nation with a $17 million deal to raise ticket prices."

On the Jesus side, Suvanjieff notes, "I'm a Christian. But correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there's somewhere in the Bible where it says that nobody can know the day or the hour of the second coming. So I just think this whole thing is a little presumptuous, don't you?"

When it's all said and done, Suvanjieff intends to turn the footage he collects into a documentary, which he predicts will be "bigger than Ben Hur, bigger than Apocalypse Now, bigger than Star Wars. Actually, Francis Ford Coppola and James Cameron came to me in a dream and told me I should make this film. And if you believe that, you probably believe Bono's going to save the world."

He doesn't know when that film will be done, but in the meantime, he's got another film in the works about a new Mayan political party scheduled to come out around February, 2012 -- if indeed there is a February, 2012.

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte