People from all walks of life are asked "What is God?"

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People from all walks of life are asked "What is God?"

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One filmmaker. 23 countries. One question: What is God? See more »

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Documentary

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20 August 2010 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

God? The Almighty Question  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,263 (USA) (13 November 2009)

Gross:

$38,244 (USA) (25 December 2009)
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Fairly comprehensive survey of the world's religions
10 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sometimes it seems as if there are as many concepts of God as there are people on the planet. And if there really is just one true God, why do people have such a widely varied and often contradictory view of Him/Her/It?

Curious about this phenomenon, filmmaker Peter Rodger set out on a tour of the world to try to find some answers to some age-old questions: does God exist, and, if he does, what is He like, why does He allow suffering, and why do people often hate and kill one another in His name? Rodger's journey takes him to places as widely disparate as Texas, New Orleans, India, Australia, Bali, Tibet, Kenya, Mexico, Guatemala, Japan, the politically-charged Middle East, and even what appears to be a Jihadist hideout or training camp. The result is "Oh My God," an interesting, though less-than-penetrating, documentary that provides a panoramic view of religion and faith-based belief systems across the planet.

Rodger interviews religious figures, charity workers, celebrities - Hugh Jackman, David Copperfield, Baz Luhrman, Seal, Ringo Starr, among them - and just plain folk from all walks of life and belief systems. He speaks with Catholics, Protestants, fundamentalist Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans, Australian aborigines, Druids, agnostics, atheists - you name it, he covers pretty much the entire spectrum of faiths (and non-faiths) that exist in the world today (and a few, like the Mayans,' that long ago faded into the fog of history).

One of the things Rodger discovers is that religion is often just a form of tribalism wherein different groups fight against one another for power and gain - which may account for why humans seem obsessed with the "my god can beat up your god" line of thinking. Religion as Big Business, religion as an opiate for the masses, religion as a means of confronting the reality of our own mortality - all these get played out in the course of the movie. And Rodger is not afraid to call BS on someone when he feels it's justified - i.e., a young priest at the Vatican justifying the Church's opulent lifestyle in a world where thousands of people die of starvation every day, a Muslim cleric claiming all non Muslims are going to hell but not being able to find a single verse in the Koran to buttress his point.

Rodger gets no real answers to his original questions, of course, though he does seem to favor Eastern and indigenous-type views of God and religion over more formalized Western ones. But, then, do we really except to get any answers to questions that have perplexed and eluded the human race from time immemorial? Of course we don't and, thus, "Oh My God" is primarily of interest as an anthropological study of Man's myriad ways of coping with the Great Unknown - and that will just have to suffice for the time being.


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