Amazon takes darkish, unsettling flip into faith with ‘Hand of God’

LOS ANGELES -

(Reuters) — “Hand of God,” a sequence starring a corrupt vigilante decide and exploring non secular fanaticism, is Amazon Inc’s newest bid to entice audiences to its unique video programming.

All 10 episodes of the sequence made their debut on Friday for Amazon Prime subscribers.

Within the opening episode, Choose Pernell Harris (Ron Perlman) seems in a public fountain, bare and talking in tongues, after his grownup son tries to commit suicide and is hospitalized.

The incident is shortly swept beneath the rug, however the decide quickly begins hallucinating and receives steerage from a mysterious younger con-man priest in a quest for justice that turns Harris into an enraged vigilante.

The sequence was conceived as an exploration of zealotry, stated present creator Ben Watkins, and developed right into a examine of non secular extremism within the context of a born-again Christian cult group that helps the decide.

“There was part of me that basically needed to discover one thing I am calling the ‘cult of ambivalence’ that I really feel now permeates America,” Watkins stated in an interview.

Perlman, who simply completed a vastly standard run on FX biker drama “Sons of Anarchy,” was not the person Watkins initially had in thoughts to play Pernell Harris.

“I did not need this to be a personality who was already bodily imposing and already used to doing his personal soiled work,” Watkins stated.

“That hesitation was instantly put to relaxation when Ron got here in and met with us, and one of many first issues that he stated was that the function scared him.”

“Hand of God” is one in all a sequence of recent applications being launched on Amazon Prime for purchasers who pay $99 a 12 months, often totally free delivery perks but in addition for entry to Amazon Studios content material.

Amazon’s transgender sequence “Clear” is a front-runner within the Emmy Award comedy class later this month.

Watkins, who beforehand wrote and produced for fundamental cable present “Burn Discover,” stated transferring to Amazon allowed him to push boundaries, whether or not with language used (in a single episode, the N-word is used 16 occasions) or in specific scenes of intercourse and violence.

“I’ve made a really aware choice to make this a really difficult dialogue relating to faith,” Watkins stated.

“I am not right here to reply whether or not faith is nice or dangerous. … We would like individuals to attract their very own conclusions as a result of hopefully it will inform them quite a bit about themselves.”

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Enhancing by Jill Serjeant and Jonathan Oatis)

Aline Niyonkuru

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