Atheist or Anti-Atheist Films
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04-10-2011, 06:14 AM
Atheist or Anti-Atheist Films
I am a British Film Student looking into the perception of atheism in Hollywood for my dissertation. Are there any films that you would suggest as having a strong positive/negative portrayal of atheists or atheism? This can be overt or subtle, literal or symbolic.

For example some of the films I am looking at are The Passion of The Christ, Leap of Faith and The Ledge as well as Paranormal Activity (for it's celebration of faith over skepticism) .

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thankyou
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04-10-2011, 09:17 AM
RE: Atheist or Anti-Atheist Films
An interesting film is "The Man from Earth." It follows a conversation between professors about a human who had managed to cheat death and live for thousands of years. It may seem a little slow to some people, simply because it's just watching people talk, but I think it's a great movie that didn't get much publicity. This is more of a philosophy film, though it does touch on some religious topics.

Another film that might be worthwhile is "God on Trial," which takes place in a concentration camp as Jews hold a trial to see if God has broken his covenant with the Jewish people. It talks about the nature of good and evil, and why a just god would allow such a thing as the Holocaust.

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

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05-10-2011, 04:52 AM
RE: Atheist or Anti-Atheist Films
I like The Invention of Lying, which is a funny little jab at theism.

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06-10-2011, 03:57 AM
RE: Atheist or Anti-Atheist Films
Paul takes the piss out of religion, especially creationism.

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
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Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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07-10-2011, 03:38 AM
RE: Atheist or Anti-Atheist Films
It's funny - I'm definitely going to include these films because there is an element of English satire and atheism moving across to Hollywood through figures like Ricky Gervais.

This is really helpful guys. If anyone else has any ideas about Hollywood films that seem to be supporting atheism/ satirising theism - or strongly oppose atheism please let me know.

Think I might have to include Christmas With A Capital C
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07-10-2011, 08:30 AM
RE: Atheist or Anti-Atheist Films
I've never seen it, but I've heard that Saved! is a good flick that takes some real jabs at religion.

Also not sure if you can include television, but this season of Dexter has elements of faith vs reason and atheism vs theism - see the thread in the Casual Coffeehouse "Dexter on Faith." There's a lot of television right now that isn't afraid to call out religious crap - mostly comedies, of course, and not on a constant basis, but still good to see satirical and skeptical points of view come in to play on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Futurama, Family Guy, The Simpsons, The Colbert Report.

I'd love to hear what you come up with - I'm a big movie fan and this kind of stuff interests me too.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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12-10-2011, 03:31 AM
RE: Atheist or Anti-Atheist Films
You should check out Ingmar Bergman's films. The Seventh Seal and Winter Light might be particularly useful to you.

The Sunset Limited is an interesting discussion between a believer and a non-believer. I'm pretty sure it was written by Cormac McCarthy and it's pretty good.

The Life of Brian is also worth a look, but I'm sure everyone on this site has seen it.
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13-10-2011, 03:11 AM
RE: Atheist or Anti-Atheist Films
Life of Brian is a great way of showing how can people misinterpret things. "The shoe, follow the shoe!!" Smile

Another great movie about how little can we actually know about life, the Universe and everything else is the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, although I would recommend the 1986 BBC TV series, much better than the movie. Of course, if you like that, read the book as well. The probability for this movie to be true is the same as the probability for a God to exist and create everything.

Brian is cool, he has a great explanation for Creationists.

Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey - not actually atheistic movie, has nothing to do with atheism or religion, but is great for showing how much similarities humans have with gorillas, how it is obvious that evolution is working and how cruel and stupid can we humans be. No amount of religion can give us the morality or the ethics if we do not accept our history and connection with this planet.

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24-10-2011, 02:40 PM
RE: Atheist or Anti-Atheist Films
Cheers for the feedback people,

Thought I'd tighten up my request now that my research is coming along...

Does anyone know of any Hollywood films that promote atheism or skepticism?

Thanks again
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25-10-2011, 08:07 PM
RE: Atheist or Anti-Atheist Films
(04-10-2011 09:17 AM)Glaucus Wrote:  Another film that might be worthwhile is "God on Trial," which takes place in a concentration camp as Jews hold a trial to see if God has broken his covenant with the Jewish people. It talks about the nature of good and evil, and why a just god would allow such a thing as the Holocaust.

Perhaps one of the most depressing films I've watched, but worthwhile still because it's very interesting. I can't see how you can watch a film like that and still believe in a "just" god.

Better without God, and happier too.
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