“Nothing in your education or your experience can prepare you for this film.” To explain Alejandro Jodorowsky’s, The Holy Mountain (1973) is like trying to explain a complex work of art; our minds have to experience first in order to make sense of it. Jodorowsky’s purpose is to have none, the reaction of being unable to grasp sense of purpose, forced to have an experience. The Holy Mountain covers endless free-forming symbolism with unsettling surreal, graphic imagery of Christian iconography, Latin American history, futurism, mysticism and political interpretation.
Movements from the opening scene ritual are known to be actual movements of a Japanese tea ceremony. Jodorowsky states that the girls themselves were not actual actresses, but two people who "wanted to have a spiritual experience. They were searching for their own truth, the naked truth."
The scenes in The Holy Mountain resemble a traditional 1970s motion picture or theater performance, yet Jodorowsky creates the acts to reflect the exact opposite of tradition, which immediately lures viewers into his twisted world. Each scene occupies the space of your imagination, leaving you shocked with a grueling and mystifying experience without room for criticism and only for analysis.
Powerful Christ-like figures are presented in multiple grotesque scenarios, performing religious and sacrilegious acts in order to reach their worshiped destination of ‘The Holy Mountain’. Jodorowsky presents Christ-like characters in the most illogical sacrilegious scenarios to question the ungodly trust people have in a ‘god-like’ human, and utilizes free-forming symbolism to portray his views on the absurdity and pointlessness of religion and powers invested upon religious figures.