Thursday, March 27

FeaturesSpecial Events ArchiveBoston Underground Film Festival 2014

My Name is Jonah

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World Premiere!

Directors Phil Healy & JB Sapienza, plus Jonah Washnis in Person!

2014, USA, 103 min.
Director Phil Healy & JB Sapienza
Screenwriter Jon Caron & Phil Healy
Cast Jonah Washnis

Chuck Norris. Rambo. Jonah Washnis. While Jonah’s isn’t a household name (yet), the myth, the man, the badass has garnered a worldwide cult following by virtue of the internet.

Guns, Russian brides, swords, virtuosic harmonica skills? These are the mere tip of the iceberg as Healy & Sapienza’s documentary explores the upstate New York native’s iconoclastic monomyth.

Donning the Punisher’s iconic garb, self- proclaimed “real-life” warrior Jonah has always lived life by his own rules. Beloved by his buddies and curiously reviled by his own family, the 5’ 8” martial artist and adventurer rose to MySpace fame in 2006 after sharing dozens of his elaborately set designed, fantasy-and-pure-badassery-depicting Christmas cards from the 80’s.

Invoking Robin Hood, Sinbad, Highlander, and his totem-animal, the Punisher, Jonah and his friends ingeniously celebrated and brought to life contemporary mythology in the spirit of holiday giving. With babes, big guns, and bigger hair, the crazy holiday cards found new life on the internet as they became a viral hit, making Jonah an unlikely celebrity.

Perhaps fitting that a modern-day hero lives in a place called Greece, NY, we gain access to this man’s unusual, and very human, day-to-day through his own antics and the anecdotes shared by those who know him best. While it’s not all ass-kicking and explosions, Jonah’s is an utterly fascinating world to behold. In an era where reality TV is the machination of calculated executive producing, it’s equal parts unjust and lucky that Jonah has yet to be discovered (or exploited). He’s a character that commands attention; un- predictable, charismatic, and always at the ready with a Jonahism, there’s some- thing simultaneously strong and fragile about this unique human being. Other stars in the Jonah constellation include best friend and manager Skip “The Trip” and the inimitable Mr. Chips, all lovable, intriguing figures along for the crazy ride.

My Name is Jonah is a charming, captivating look at a life less ordinary, a doc full of heart and possibly this year’s sleeper hit at the festival.

— Nicole McControversy

Click a showtime to purchase tickets:

  • Thursday, March 27 at 7:30 PM

Tickets $10, $8 Brattle Members. Brattle passes not accepted for festival screenings.