The God Who Wasn’t ThereDocumentary filmmaker Brian Flemming examines the Bible and discusses the history of early Christianity, raising doubts as to whether the New Testament personage Jesus ever really existed. Flemming examines the similarity of the Jesus story to other savior myths of the time and points to inexplicable gaps in early Christian history that combine to shed doubt on the Bible’s Jesus story.
The Invention of LyingIt’s a world where everyone tells the truth – and just about anything they’re thinking. Mark Bellison is a screenwriter, about to be fired. He’s short and chunky with a flat nose – a genetic pool that means he won’t get to first base with Anna, the woman he loves. At a bank, on the spur of the moment he blurts out a fib, with eye-popping results. Then, when his mother’s on her deathbed, frightened of the eternal void awaiting her, Mark invents fiction, his mom will go to a place (Heaven) where she will get a mansion and all of her dead relatives that she misses will be there. The hospital staff overhear his description of Heaven, believe every word, and tell others. Soon Mark is a prophet, his first inventive screenplay makes him rich, and he’s basically a good guy. But will that be enough for Anna?
The Atheism TapesJonathan Miller interviews five atheists and one theologian on the subject of atheism. A very interesting process and their answers to the questions are intriguing and thought provoking. Great to watch in a group.
Letting Go of God Letting Go of God is a humorous monologue by Julia Sweeney chronicling her search for God. She begins in the Catholic church, the religion her family raised her in, and takes a Bible study class. What she learns there leads her to new questions, and in search for answers she explores meditation, Buddhism and New Age gurus, then describes what she learned from the sciences and from sharpening her critical thinking skills. She discovers that to accept the truth leads to surprising revelations. She concludes by sharing how this effects her family.
DogmaAn abortion clinic worker with a special heritage is enlisted to prevent two angels from reentering Heaven and thus undoing the fabric of the universe. Along the way, she is aided by two prophets, Jay and Silent Bob. With the help of Rufus, the 13th Apostle, they must stop those who stand in their way and prevent the angels from entering Heaven.
COLLISION: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson“I was lucky to see an advance of ‘Collision’. Hitchens is at his best and Wilson is his perfect foil. It was so refreshing to hear two intelligent, passionate and knowledgeable men able to have a meaningful debate/discourse without it degenerating to any disrespectful level – (especially in these current times).
The evolution of their debate and discourse is also quite interesting. It could just be good editing, but I believed these men listened to each other and were often challenged to not rely on their standard answers and thoughts. The debate increases in enjoyment because of it. It was also refreshing to see them often agree with one another, on completely different merits – (not fundamentally of course).
My level of respect has risen for both of them. Whatever your belief system, or lack thereof, this film will challenge some of your ideas. I highly recommend it” – G. Santos
ReligulousBill Maher interviews some of religion’s oddest adherents. Muslims, Jews and Christians of many kinds pass before his jaundiced eye. Maher goes to a Creationist Museum in Kentucky, which shows that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time 5000 years ago. He talks to truckers at a Truckers’ Chapel. (Sign outside: “Jesus love you.”) He goes to a theme park called Holy Land in Florida. He speaks to a rabbi in league with Holocaust deniers. He talks to a Muslim musician who preaches hatred of Jews. Maher finds the unlikeliest of believers and, in a certain Vatican priest, he even finds an unlikely skeptic.
Penn & Teller Bullsh*t: Seasons 1-7Using a combination of set ups, descriptions, rants and film of practitioners, Penn & Teller show the bullshit that’s everywhere. The initial show covers mediums or Talkers to the Dead. Penn Jillette explains in the first program that while calling someone a liar or a con man is actionable, “bullshit” is safe. Each show has a topic such as Mediums, Feng Shui, Medical devices or Penis Enlargement. Using humor and experts, they debunk the bullshit
The LedgeA thriller in which a battle of philosophies between a fundamentalist Christian and an atheist escalates into a lethal battle of wills. Ultimately, as a test of faith, or lack of it, the believer forces the non-believer onto the ledge of a tall building. He then has one hour to make a choice between his own life and someone else’s. Without faith in an afterlife, will he be capable of such a sacrifice?
I really enjoyed this movie. I thought the story, acting, and overal cinema experience was great. Although some say that the atheist was not a good representation of atheism and that the girl who they fight over didn’t do a good job I think the writer and director did a fantastic job showing what religion can do, the harm it can cause, and how reason combined with emotion may not make for good judgments. – Amanda Brown
For The Bible Tells Me SoThrough the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families — including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson — we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard’s Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.
This documentary will help those of us who are debating Christians to help them to understand in their own bible that it doesn’t actually tell them so.
A beautifully researched documentary by a Champaign, Illinois, station, it examines a 1st Amendment cases critical to the establishment of separation of church and state in public schools. Huffington Post Review
In God We Trust is a documentary by artist Scott Burdick covering the backlash in the small town of King, North Carolina after a veteran from Afghanistan demanded the removal of the Christian flag from the public Veteran’s Memorial. The outcry of Christians claiming that this is a Christian nation and anyone who says otherwise can move somewhere else, inspired Burdick to take his video camera and interview people at the memorial. The DVD can be purchased here.
Agora is a 2009 Spanish historical drama film directed by Alejandro Amenábar and written by Amenábar and Mateo Gil. The story uses historical fiction to promote a “conflict thesis” interpretation of the relationship between religion and science amidst the decline of Greco-Roman polytheism and the Christianization of the Roman empire. Set in ancient Egypt under Roman rule, Agora follows the brilliant and beautiful astronomer Hypatia (Rachel Weisz) who leads a group of disciples fighting to save the wisdom of the Ancient World, as violent religious upheaval spills into the streets of Alexandria. Among these disciples are two men competing for her heart: the witty, privileged Orestes (Oscar Isaac) and Davus (Max Minghella), Hypatia’s young slave, who is torn between his secret love for her and the freedom he knows can be his if he chooses to join the unstoppable surge of the Christians.
The Man from Earth is based on renowned sci-fi author Jerome Bixby’s final 1998 manuscript. Professor John Oldman (David Lee Smith) attempts to convince his fellow faculty members that he is 14,000 years old. Shot almost entirely inside Oldman’s cabin as he’s about to leave his friends and career, the film’s dialogue consists of philosophical chatting about the possibility and ramifications of his alleged birth during the Upper Paleolithic era. As his faculty peers are all anthropology, biology, religion, and philosophy scholars, the conversation levels remain high throughout. Oldman’s friend Harry (John Billingsley) is well versed in multiple religions as well as in science, while Gruber (Richard Riehle) is invited to the house mid-story to evaluate Oldman’s psychological state. Edith (Ellen Crawford) is the Christian voice, considering the religious repercussions of Oldman’s assertion. All the while, Oldman’s love interest, Sandy (Annika Peterson), remains quietly contemplative and most capable of believing that he doesn’t visually age and has seen epochs and historical eras come and go. Similar to some great episodes of The Twilight Zone, The Man From Earth does pose enough grand questions about life and death that urge viewers to wonder if such a man could plausibly exist, and if so, what his fate would be. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this story is its fusion of spirituality and science by providing viewers a scenario in which proof is impossible, in a world where high value is placed on concrete evidence.
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