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Bill Maher incurs the wrath of multiple religious zealots of myriad faiths in Religulous, a snarky but unexpectedly powerful documentary. Maher bluntly disputes the value of religion in a world made increasingly dangerous, on the one hand, by fanaticism of all kinds and the human race's environmental self-destructiveness on the other. No one is immune from Maher's dogged questions about the illogic and negative fallout of doctrines that advocate violence or shun scientific evidence or marginalize minorities or punish anyone who disagrees with any religion's extreme tenets. Maher takes his inquiries to the Vatican; to small, evangelical Christian churches; to Jerusalem; to Amsterdam (where elements of an increasingly vocal Muslim community have shown violence toward critics); to a large, African-American church in a big city; and to several bizarre theme parks celebrating creationism and the life of Jesus. Wherever he goes, Maher seeks to demonstrate that many of the world's major religions are rife with hypocrisy, completely self-referential, and destructive to the collective good. The fast-moving, globe-trotting film is full of highlights, including a great scene where Maher, in disguise, argues for the core beliefs of Scientology to a bemused crowd at Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park. There's also a wonderful moment where Maher, just having been thrown out of the Vatican, gets a terrific interview with a maverick priest. Raised Catholic but in reality half-Jewish, Maher also spends time with his mother and sister trying to reconcile the role of religion in his childhood. Everything is really leading toward Maher's major point that atheists and agnostics are in a sizable minority but are afraid to speak out in these days of zealotry. If that minority stays in the background, Maher says, we may very well be heading toward catastrophe. --Tom Keogh
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"The hour is getting very late to be able to indulge in having key decisions made by religious people, by irrationalists, by those who would steer the ship of state not by a compass but by the equivalent of reading the entrails of a chicken...The only appropriate attitude for [humans] to have about the big questions is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion but doubt. Doubt is humble and that's what [humans] need to be, considering human history is just a litany of getting [things] dead wrong."
The above comes near the end of this funny, enlightening, and disturbing comedy/documentary film written by and starring political comedian Bill Maher.
A range of views on the many world religions are explored as Maher travels to various religious destinations like Jerusalem, the Vatican, and even Salt Lake City. He questions and interviews believers of diverse backgrounds and groups. Interviews include those with former members of Jesus for Jews, Christians, Muslims, and former Mormons. He even travels to Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, London and, disguised, preaches Scientology beliefs.
I counted over 25 interviews. Interviews that stand out for me are with:
(1) Dr. Francis Collins, a Christian and American physician-geneticist, known for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and for his leadership of the Human Genome Project.
(2) Pastor John Wescott of "Exchange Ministries" which claims to help people "overcome homosexuality."
(3) Mark Pryor, Democratic US Senator from Arkansas.
(4) Ken Ham, Young Earth creationist and founder of "Answers in Genesis."
(5) Dr. Andrew Newberg, University of Pennsylvania research neuroscientist, interested in neurotheology.
This is a very informative film.Read more ›
When he gets to the scenes with the Muslims I think the film kind of faulters, he didn't seem to understand the context and oversimplified things from a very "western," mind frame. To the films credit some of the muslims he interviews state that its hard to put into context. The people he interviewed from the Muslim community would probably be people that agree with his overall message though not with his oversimplification or grouping of the stated, "1 billion Muslims."
To really dig into, the dynamics of the the three Abrahamic religions and put into context is not exactly funny and another film all together. Though I think he could have done a better job and I don't like the Brush he paints over the Muslim world reinforcing negative stereotypes... he could have gotten a deep statement out of the Muslim woman perhaps that could have been insightful and reinforce his overarching message. He ceased to be tactful in this segment of the film.
Overall it raises an interesting perspective that I think is more accessible to a larger North American based audience than other films of a this genre.
Whatever you believe, Christianity, Judeaism, the Koran, The Book of Morman or even agnostic, everyone should watch this with (and I strongly suggest) a "very" open mind.
Join Bill as he travels around America, the Middle East, the Vatican City and even a religious theme park in Florida trying to answer his own personal questions.
himself,as he goes on sort of a journey to different places both in
America and abroad,where the people have different religions.most of
the big religions are skewered equally.i like the fact that Maher
doesn't play favourites.he also says what he means,which is
refreshing.he brings up a lot of thought provoking questions,most of
them valid,and he's also funny.if you do belong to one of the big
religions in the world,this might not be your cup of tea.if you're on
the fence about joining a religion,this probably won't make your
decision any easier.if you're not affiliated with any of the big
religions,you will probably really enjoy this documentary.i give
Religulous a 4/5
I think everyone should see this film, but of course, those blinded by THE LIGHT, no matter what religion, would never allow themselves to take a realistic look. Honestly, do you really believe in a talking snake (Adam and Eve) or a man living 3 days in the stomach of a whale (I'm sorry, a fish)? I thank Bill Maher for this film, it was both enlightening and hilarious.
Most recent customer reviews
As an atheist and Bill Maher fan I found his treatment of religion, at times needlessly disrespectful. It made me uncomfortable to admit I am an atheist because of his film. Read morePublished 10 months ago by The Movie Guy
Not up to Bill Mars standards, maybe my expectations were to hi,Published 11 months ago by David Taylor
Serious,and funny. Seriously funny !
If you want to remain Religious,don't watch it.
Not the best documentary by any means but if you like Maher you can sort of over look itPublished on July 17 2014 by William A. Bolduc
While Maher viciously attacks Islam and Christianity he avoids any criticism of the Jewish faith. The obvious bias and one sided attacks make this a movie not worth your time. Read morePublished on June 14 2014 by Nite Owl
I enjoy Bill Maher's Real Time and his opinions. I appreciate the questioning he does on this research project. As a bonus, it is sometimes hilariously funny!Published on April 28 2014 by Mireille
greets - if you're a fan of Bill Maher, then you'll probably enjoy this vid just for his cynical take on things religious - also, the editing, with its very funny inserts, produces... Read morePublished on Dec 8 2013 by d'Pappy
I love the canadian edition with subtitles in French .Very funny movie ,true and hillourious to see again and again ..Published on Aug. 27 2013 by Alex