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Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts

Aug 25, 2019

Love Is a Verb (2014)


Love is a Verb is a 2014 documentary film directed by Terry Spencer Hesser and narrated by Ashley Judd. The documentary focuses on the Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah G├╝len and the Gulen movement, an altruistic social movement of Sufi-inspired Sunni Muslims.

Aug 19, 2019

Paths of the Soul (2015)


Eleven Tibetans prostrate themselves every few steps during a 1,200-mile pilgrimage that lasts for seven months.

Aug 15, 2019

Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief (2015)


Directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright, Going Clear profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology-whose most prominent adherents include A-list Hollywood celebrities-shining a light on how the church cultivates true believers, detailing their experiences and what they are willing to do in the name of religion. One of the most talked about films at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, this powerful documentary highlights the Church's origins, from its roots in the mind of founder L. Ron Hubbard to its rise in popularity in Hollywood and beyond. Going Clear is a provocative tale of ego, exploitation, and lust for power.

Aug 9, 2019

One of Us (2017)


One of Us explores the opaque world of Hasidic Judaism through a cadre of fascinating characters. Through unique and intimate access over the span of three years, acclaimed observational filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp, Detropia) delve into the lives of three brave individuals who have recently made the decision to leave the insular ultra-orthodox community at the expense of all else, including relationships with their family members and--in one case--their personal safety. With a sensitive and compassionate eye, One of Us chronicles the achingly cinematic journey of people in search of a personal freedom that comes only at a very high cost.

Jul 27, 2019

Hail Satan? (2019)


Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history, Hail Satan? is an inspiring and entertaining new feature documentary from acclaimed director Penny Lane (Nuts!, Our Nixon). When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humor, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some truly profound ways. As charming and funny as it is thought-provoking, Hail Satan? offers a timely look at a group of often misunderstood outsiders whose unwavering commitment to social and political justice has empowered thousands of people around the world.

Jul 23, 2019

Walk with Me (2017)



With unprecedented access, WALK WITH ME goes deep inside a Zen Buddhist community who have given up all their possessions and signed up to a life of chastity for one common purpose - to transform their suffering, and practice the art of mindfulness with the world-famous teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. Filmed over three years, in their monastery in rural France and on the road in the USA, this visceral film is a meditation on a community grappling with existential questions and the everyday routine of monastic life. As the seasons come and go, the monastics' pursuit for a deeper connection to themselves and the world around them is amplified by insights from Thich Nhat Hanh's early journals, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Jul 1, 2019

My Scientology Movie (2015)



'I find that the most inexplicable behavior is motivated by very relateable human impulses,' comments Louis Theroux as he heads to Los Angeles for his feature documentary, in collaboration with director John Dower and double Academy Award winning producer Simon Chinn, exploring the Church of Scientology. Following a long fascination with the religion and with much experience in dealing with eccentric, unpalatable and unexpected human behavior, the beguilingly unassuming Theroux won't take no for an answer when his requests to enter the Church's headquarters is turned down. Inspired by the Church's use of filming techniques, and aided by ex-members of the organization, Theroux uses actors to replay some incidents people claim they experienced as members in an attempt to better understand the way it operates. In a bizarre twist, it becomes clear that the Church is also making a film about Louis Theroux. Suffused with a good dose of humor and moments worthy of a Hollywood script, MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE is stranger than fiction.

Jun 26, 2019

Holy Hell (2016)



In 1985, recent film school graduate Will Allen became a member of The Buddhafield, a Los Angeles area spiritual group. Also acting as the group's official videographer, he began to document their activities, which centered on the mysterious leader they called Michel, or The Teacher. Over time, the group's dark side began to surface as total devotion turned to paranoia, until finally, unexpected truths about their enlightened leader were revealed--all in front of Allen's camera. This incredible, 22-year archive of video footage became the basis for HOLY HELL.

Jun 25, 2019

Religulous (2008)



This documentary follows political humorist and author Bill Maher as he travels around the globe interviewing people about God and religion. Known for his analytical skills, wit and commitment to never pulling a punch, Maher brings his characteristic honesty to an unusual spiritual journey.

May 7, 2019

Zeitgeist Refuted (2010)


Even secular scholars have rejected the idea of Christianity borrowing from the ancient mysteries. The well-respected Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard writes in Theories of Primitive Religion that The evidence for this theory... is negligible.

The first real parallel of a dying and rising god does not appear until A.D. 150, more than a hundred years after the origin of Christianity. So if there was any influence of one on the other, it was the influence of the historical event of the New Testament (resurrection) on mythology, not the reverse. The only known account of a god surviving death that predates Christianity is the Egyptian cult god Osiris.

In this myth, Osiris is cut into fourteen pieces, scattered around Egypt, then reassembled and brought back to life by the goddess Isis. However, Osiris does not actually come back to physical life but becomes a member of a shadowy underworld... This is far different than Jesus' resurrection account where he was the gloriously risen Prince of life who was seen by others on earth before his ascension into heaven. –Dr. Norman Geisler.

Directed by: Elliott Nesch

May 2, 2019

The Case for Christ (2007)


The documentary The Case for Christ follows reporter Lee Strobel as he interviews a number of religious and historical scholars in order to find out if there is any proof of the resurrection, and to discover the historical veracity of the New Testament. In trying the case for Christ, Strobel cross-examined a number of experts and recognized authorities in their own fields of study. He conducted his examination with no religious bias, other than his predisposition to atheism.

Remarkably, after compiling and critically examining the evidence for himself, Strobel became a Christian. Stunned by his findings, he organized the evidence into a book he entitled, The Case for Christ, which has won the Gold Medallion Book Award for excellence. Strobel asks one thing of each reader - remain unbiased in your examination of the evidence.

In the end, judge the evidence for yourself, acting as the lone juror in the case for Christ. Has anybody ever compiled the evidence to determine the case for Christ? As a matter of fact, Lee Strobel, an atheist at the time he undertook this endeavor, decided that he would prove Jesus Christ to be a fraud by the weight of the evidence.

Apr 30, 2019

Islam: What the West Needs to Know (2006)


This documentary sets out to investigate the notion that Islam is a religion of peace and explore the widely circulated idea that those who commit violent acts in the name of Islam are a fanatic few. The filmmakers try to hold Islam's own sources to the light to make the controversial claim that the religion is actually driven by a violent, expansionary ideology that seeks to conquer any contradictory religion, culture, and, ultimately, government.

This film is by far the most interesting presentation of Islam that I have yet to see. I recommend viewers be fully awake before attempting to watch it, as some amount of concentration is required to reap the full benefits of this documentary.

Packed with direct quotes from the Koran and other reliable sources, along with compelling visuals and tasteful interviews, it will challenge even the experts. Is violence built into the Muslim ideology?

Apr 18, 2019

Jesus Camp (2006)


The feverish spectacle of a summer camp for evangelical Christian kids is the focus of Jesus Camp, a fascinating if sometimes alarming documentary. (Shortly after its release, the movie gained a new notoriety when Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who appears near the end of the film, resigned his post amid a male prostitute's allegations of drug use and sexual misconduct.)

For most of the film, we follow a charismatic teacher, Becky Fischer, as she trains young soldiers in "God's Army" at a camp in North Dakota. Some of the kids emerge as likable and bright, and eager to continue their work as pint-sized preachers; elsewhere, the visions of children speaking in tongues and falling to the floor in ecstasy are more troubling. Even more arresting is the vision of a generation of children home-schooled to believe that the Bible is science, or Fischer's certainty that America's flawed system of democracy will someday be replaced by a theocracy. (In one scene, a cardboard cut-out of George W. Bush is presented to the children, who react by laying their hands on the figure as though in a religious procession.)

Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady maintain neutrality about all this, maybe too much so (they throw in some interviews with radio host Mike Papantonio to provide a liberal-Christian viewpoint) and one would like to know more about the grown-ups presented here. Power broker Haggard is the creepiest person in the film, an insincere smooth talker whose advice to one of the young would-be campgoers comes across as entirely cynical. Time will tell whether the film's Christian soldiers will be marching onward.

Apr 15, 2019

The God Who Wasn't There (2005)


Former fundamentalist Christian Brian Flemming places the core concepts of his former religion under the microscope in a documentary that attempts to do for religion what Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me did for the fast-food industry. In his bold quest to seek answers to the difficult questions that few are willing to pose, Fleming is joined by Deconstructing Jesus author Robert M. Price, renowned historian Richard Carrier, and The End of Faith author Sam Harris.

From the ignorance of many contemporary Christians as to the origin of their religion to the striking similarities between Jesus Christ and the deities worshipped by ancient pagan cults and the Christian obsession with blood and violence, this faith-shaking documentary explores the many mysteries of the Christian faith as never before.

This documentary argues the "mythicist" case in the historical Jesus debate. This position says that Jesus of Nazareth wasn't a real person but a fiction based on Jewish scriptures and mystery religions of the Roman Empire. It doesn't make sense to talk about a "real" Jesus - there wasn't any. This documentary has good information but could have been better produced - any high school student could have done a better job.


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