Is Life of Brian Making Fun of Jesus?

Monty Python’s Life of Brian is a satirical movie that follows the life of Brian, who is mistaken for Jesus and becomes embroiled in religious and political turmoil in ancient Judea. The film has been the subject of controversy since its release in 1979, with some accusing it of making fun of Jesus Christ and Christianity. In this article, we will examine whether Life of Brian is indeed a parody of Jesus and his teachings.

The Plot

Life of Brian tells the story of Brian Cohen, a young Jewish man who is born on the same day as Jesus Christ, albeit in a manger next door. As he grows up, he becomes disillusioned with the Roman occupation and joins the People’s Front of Judea (not to be confused with the Judean People’s Front). Through a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, he is mistaken for the Messiah and becomes the object of worship by his followers.

The Controversy

Many religious groups were outraged by Life of Brian when it was released because they believed that it mocked Jesus Christ. The film was banned in many countries, including Ireland and Norway. Protesters picketed outside movie theaters showing the film, while some even went as far as throwing stones at cinema screens.

Arguments for

Those who believe that Life of Brian mocks Jesus Christ argue that:

  • The film portrays religious leaders as hypocrites who are more interested in their own power than in helping people.
  • The character named Otto claims that “All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health..what have the Romans ever done for us?” This line implies that Roman occupation was not all bad.
  • The ending scene where Brian is crucified is seen by some as a direct mockery of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.

Arguments against

On the other hand, supporters of Life of Brian argue that:

  • The film does not mock Jesus Christ directly, but rather the religious institutions that have grown up around him.
  • The message of the film is not anti-religious, but rather anti-authoritarian, and it encourages people to think for themselves rather than blindly following leaders.
  • The scene where Brian is crucified is not meant to be a mockery of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, but rather a commentary on the absurdity and brutality of capital punishment.


In conclusion, Life of Brian is a satirical movie that pokes fun at religion and politics in ancient Judea. While some may see it as a direct mockery of Jesus Christ and Christianity, others view it as a criticism of religious institutions and authoritarianism.

Ultimately, whether or not one finds the film offensive is a matter of personal opinion. However, it is important to remember that freedom of speech and artistic expression are essential components of any democratic society.