“Savant” is the story of Jeshua, who lives on the planet of Sionys, a colony of Earth where robotics have been outlawed and technology is used to oppress the people. Jeshua was born with an incredible gift; he is a savant in robotics, capable of using them to heal people and to perform miracles. He travels Sionys helping and teaching others how to improve their lives. Although the people greet Jeshua as a savior, some like the Justiciar Caias, despise him for upsetting Earth’s dominion, and plot to destroy him. When Jeshua’s close friend, Elazar, becomes dangerously ill Jeshua is called to come help him. Jeshua knows he is already in danger. When he arrives, he finds he is too late. His friend has been dead for four days. Seeing the hopelessness around him Jeshua realizes that those who can do great good must never fear great evil. He enters the medical chamber where his friend’s body has been laid out. After some hours Jeshua and Elazar emerge from the chamber and stand before the crowds who weep and are filled with a new birth of hope. However Jeshua knows that in performing this miracle he has condemned himself.
The aspect of Jesus which we have always found most fascinating is his ability to overcome all doubt and temptation. The raising of Lazarus is often considered as the climax of John’s signs. It is what precedes Caiaphas’ plot to kill Christ. To us, the whole passage of Jesus’ miracles would be too long for a short film, so we believe the story should begin at the moment Lazarus falls ill and it should end with his resurrection, and the promise that everything has changed forever. We also feel that placing the theme of robotics and the use of technology within the frame of the film’s narrative gives the viewer an interesting new context. The character of Jeshua represents the positive side of technology, while the character of Caias represents the negative dark side. The story also explores the theme of the right to life and health for everyone, mass disparity created by segregation of class, and the triumph of truth even at the risk of death. Although the Bible never discusses whether or not Jesus hesitated, we felt that for the film, the character needed a moment of overcoming self-doubt before performing one of his greatest miracles.