Last night, a large congregation of movie fans from my favorite Meetup group, SoCal Movie Fanatics, attended Bill Maher’s Religulous. A diverse group with a wide range of beliefs, we attended the film anticipating a great post-movie dialogue and we were not disappointed. It is for that reason that I believe that Religulous is a “must see” film.
Here is the synopsis from Lionsgate:
Religulous follows political humorist and author Bill Maher (Real Time With Bill Maher, Politically Incorrect) as he travels around the globe interviewing people about God and religion. Known for his astute analytical skills, irreverent wit and commitment to never pulling a punch, Maher brings his characteristic honesty to an unusual spiritual journey.
Religulous is overall very entertaining and sincere. Positioned as a quest for answers, Maher’s journey doesn’t attempt to debunk spirituality, rather it raises sincere doubts that expose evident flaws in theories supported by zealous followers of organized religions throughout the world.
Further to that point, Maher uses this forum to focus on extremists. He makes his point that religion can be a dangerous concept in a world where people are blindly faithful while other abuse it to achieve their own agendas.
Like his HBO series (Real Time with Bill Maher) where he addresses political topics in a forum format with biting humor, Maher’s intent in this film is less about promoting his own Agnostic view and more about demonstrating how governments (ours included) intertwined too closely with any one religion are fatally flawed.
Religulous provokes dialogue and thinking about the most important topics of our times (specifically, the war, terrorism and the election) and I won’t be surprised if it takes home the Oscar for Best Documentary.
For those who have not previously watched Bill Maher’s Real Time on HBO and the format of that show, here is a taste of the kind of dialogue he provokes: