|Index||8 reviews in total|
I saw Julia perform this show in Las Vegas in 2007 before an audience of skeptics. She received a standing ovation. The show is clever, thought provoking and funny. She explains in her gentle way her personal path to becoming an atheist. "God Said Ha!" (produced by Quentin Tarantino) which detailed a traumatic year for her described the first part of her journey from being a good Catholic girl to her position as a non-believer. In it she tells the story of how her brother developed cancer. While she was caring for him she discovered that she too had the disease. Julia survived. Her brother didn't. "Letting Go of God" carries on from there. Ms Sweeney comes across as a very warm, decent human being. I've spoken with her after seeing her shows and her humanity shines through. It's well worth seeing this film - no matter which side of the fence you're on - because it may well change your outlook on life. Highly recommended.
the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is having the world premiere of this film and i was fortunate enough to see a press screening today. somehow i missed the live tour and i'm very sad about that as this looked like it was such an intimate, thought provoking show. julia delivers her one woman monologue in her usual, witty way. i was thoroughly delighted every moment of this live film. i can't give away anything but i will say it was a pleasure to listen & watch julia speak about her spiritual journey/evolution and her realistic outlook on life. when this film comes to your city, do yourself a favour and see it with a group of friends or family. you'll laugh out-loud, get teary-eyed and rejoice in the intelligent criticisms before you. i LOVED it!
Julia Sweeney, best known from her days on "Saturday Night Live," lets
the audience in on her quest for faith which ultimately led her to the
revelation that she has none in "Letting Go of God."
Watching one person speak for over two hours can be a bit taxing and difficult to sustain, but for Sweeney, it all comes naturally. She tells her story in a humorous and human way, often getting emotional as well as witty and casual. For the entire duration, she has the audience in her hand, as she talks in depth about childhood doubt, adulthood tragedies and the journey which led her to her ultimate conclusion: God is a figment of our imagination.
For those who believe, Sweeney's monologue might be a tough pill to swallow, but rest assured, she speaks in a respectful manner, even relating to her parents who kept their faith as well as their relationship with their daughter in the wake of her newfound atheism. The message of the film is bold and gut-wrenching but ultimately inescapable. Julia is a great storyteller, and it's worth sitting down for a few hours and letting her tell you her story.
My religious road is very similar to Ms. Sweeney's (minus the trips to
India and South America), and I was delighted to hear someone echo my
very thoughts on the Bible and the life of Jesus.
Ms. Sweeney's testimonial is direct, honest, and moving. She comes across as educated on the topics she is discussing, yet she explains everything in a very clear way. At no point does she sound preachy or pushy. She simply provides her story.
My only criticism is that it's a bit too long. I felt like the monologue could have been more poignant had she broken it up with other types of segments (e.g. interviews with her family members, showing us her childhood church, etc.). The one-woman show is effective, but it felt long (at 2 hr. and 20 min. I believe).
Either way, it's a stirring performance, and I would encourage everyone to watch it.
I laughed until my stomach ached and, if there is a God, it must be
laughing right along with Julia Sweeney as she tells the hilarious,
poignant, and touching tale of how she overcame her religious
upbringing and need to believe. Telling the story in a monologue format
was a scathingly brilliant idea. You won't be disappointed as it moves
along at a good pace. Her facial expressions are priceless.
The only problem I had with any of the content was that she included a segment on Buddhism, which doesn't require nor imply a belief in God.
Meeting her after the film was lovely. (She's actually 10 pounds thinner than she appears on film. That's a full dress size at her height.) She was called on exclaiming, "Oh, my God!" at one point and agreed that some parts of a God-filled upbringing she'd never be able to let go of.
See it. It's funny.
Letting Go of God is one of my favorite DVDs ever. I found Julia
Sweeney to be extremely intelligent and well read. She obviously gave
very careful consideration to her faith in God and found that even a
good Catholic education and loving Catholic parents couldn't overcome
the problems she uncovered with the Bible, her previous religions
beliefs, and the beliefs of other religions in the world.
In a country where over 70% claim to believe in God, calling yourself an atheist can require real courage, especially when you come from a religious family. Ms. Sweeny has that courage.
For those of faith, it must be hard to give this DVD the rating it deserves since it describes a journey to becoming an infidel. I haven't seen any reviews that dispute Ms. Sweeney's claims about the bible. For most Christians who haven't read the bible, her claims about it should be a wake-up call.
For those without faith who love this DVD, I recommend the recently released movie Agora. For those who liked it even though they still have their faith, I recommend the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So. For those who have outstanding questions and want to read more, I recommend Bart Ehrman's Jesus Interrupted and Why We Suffer.
I'm a fairly new atheist myself. I've been agnostic for about 4 years now, and just recently made the almost equivalent leap to atheism. I've been fascinated by religion ever since, sort of in the same way one would be fascinated by Hitler. I've heard a lot of good points and thousands of facts to support atheism, and I for one, need no further convincing, but sometimes I think that atheists need to be reminded how hard it is for someone to lose their faith, no matter how much evidence there is to support such a decision. I grew up very Christian. I was involved in numerous organizations such as AWANA, numerous Christian bible studies and car clubs, and was even a Christian summer camp counselor, and letting go of god was absolutely the hardest thing i've ever had to do, but a decision I don't regret for one second. Once the chains are completely off of you, you feel like you've never felt before, and it's great. Julia Sweeney's journey through all of this was sooo similar to my own, that I just immediately felt connected with her. I think it's the same journey many of us have taken, and she really takes the time and care to chronicle this journey and doesn't set out to demonize anyone, but just to educate, it just so happens that education sometimes involves pointing out the ignorance of some people, or in this case...many. For people born an Atheist, I would really suggest watching this, so that you can understand how hard it really is for a religious person to make this transition, and then maybe it will help you out when dealing or talking to someone about "god", and I would DEFINITELY recommend this for any person of faith struggling with their beliefs and desiring to let go, it will really help you out and make you feel less scared to do so.
I watched this last night on cable. I was intrigued by the other
reviewers here so I gave it a shot. That was a mistake.
Julia Sweeney was a fine character actor on SNL, but as a comedy writer, philosopher or theologian she is pathetic.
One person stage shows rarely make interesting movies or television. This was no exception.
Her jokes reached too far into incredulity. She pushed the premise of her jokes so far that you could tell she was trying desperately to make a joke out of something. One almost got to the point of rooting for her to find the punchline just so she could move on to the next topic. She's a much better performer than writer. She needs someone to write for her.
As a philosopher Ms. Sweeney is easily confused. Again, trying to make light of deep questions is very hard, well beyond the means of Ms. Sweeney. One could see the point she should be coming to but then she missed it, sometimes intentionally just to make a joke, and usually a bad one at that.
As a theologian Ms. Sweeney has a lot to learn. She tried to come off as this 'been there done that, I know better now' wise man but really most of her questions could have been answered by her local priest. She just didn't bother to ask the right people.
Clearly Ms. Sweeney has lost her way spiritually. I understand the cancer scare and the profound effect it can have on someone who is self-centered. When all you think about is yourself, it's very hard to accept that bad things happen to you too. So, in an apparent act of revenge, she has sacrificed her faith in an effort to make a buck on this show and movie. It sounded like what she has done was pursue atheism with the intent of arriving there in a comical way so she could make a few bucks on it.
I gave this movie a 2 instead of a 1 because of the good stagecraft. The set was nicely done and functional.
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