Documentaries on Religion, Spirituality and Cults

by MrKaya | created - 11 Jan 2015 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Documentaries on religion, religious traditionalism, religious cults, spiritual awakening, hallucinative plants, and atheism.

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1. 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama (2006)

Unrated | 85 min | Documentary

How do you reconcile a commitment to non-violence when faced with violence? Why do the poor often seem happier than the rich? Must a society lose its traditions in order to move into the ... See full summary »

Director: Rick Ray | Stars: The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Bagdro, Bob Dole, Richard Gere

Votes: 702 | Gross: $0.22M

2. The Unbelievers (2013)

Not Rated | 77 min | Documentary

32 Metascore

Renowned scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss cross the globe as they speak publicly about the importance of science and reason in the modern world.

Director: Gus Holwerda | Stars: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Woody Allen, Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett

Votes: 6,198

3. Ayahuasca: Vine of the Soul (2010)

Not Rated | 52 min | Documentary, Adventure

On a quest for spiritual awakening and healing, a naturopathic doctor and an accountant join others in the Amazon to drink a hallucinogenic brew called ayahuasca or 'Vine of the Soul'. ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Meech | Stars: Guillermo Arévalo, Gabor Mate, Dennis J. McKenna, Kenneth Tupper

Votes: 338

4. Hell House (2001)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

64 Metascore

A look at the "Hell House" performed annually in October by the youth members of Trinity Church (Assemblies of God) in Cedar Hill, Texas (a Dallas suburb) - seen by over 10,000 visitors ... See full summary »

Director: George Ratliff | Stars: Aria Adloo, Ashley Adloo, Amy Allred, Gabriel Allred

Votes: 1,494

5. DMT: The Spirit Molecule (2010)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary

An investigation into the long-obscured mystery of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a molecule found in nearly every living organism and considered the most potent psychedelic on Earth.

Director: Mitch Schultz | Stars: Joe Rogan, Ralph Abraham, Joel Bakst, Steven Barker

Votes: 4,054

6. Jonestown: Paradise Lost (2007 TV Movie)

100 min | Documentary, History

Cult leader Jim Jones leads his followers to a mass-suicide.

Director: Tim Wolochatiuk | Stars: Ted Biggs, Stephan Jones, Vernon Gosney, Tim Reiterman

Votes: 822

7. Hellbound? (2012)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary

53 Metascore

If God is our pure, all-loving creator, can he really turn his back on sinners and allow them to suffer for eternity in hell? Where did this vision of hell come from? Is it possible we've ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Miller | Stars: Kevin Miller, Jonathan Phelps, Margie Phelps, Robert McKee

Votes: 261 | Gross: $0.02M

8. Neurons to Nirvana (2013)

85 min | Documentary, History, News

A stylish, in depth look at the renaissance in psychedelic drug research in light of current scientific, medical and cultural knowledge.

Director: Oliver Hockenhull | Stars: William S. Burroughs, Wade Davis, Rick Doblin, Lesley Ewen

Votes: 943

9. Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World (2011)

PG | 90 min | Documentary, History

In our post-9/11 world, a greater understanding across cultures is more important than ever before, yet the purpose of this program is not simply to provide political or historical context.... See full summary »

Director: Robert H. Gardner | Stars: Mohammad Al-Asad, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom, Afshan Bokhari

Votes: 34

10. Islam: The Untold Story (2012 TV Movie)

74 min | Documentary

Tom Holland is searching for the birth place of Islam. Needless to say it's not where we usually believe it is.

Stars: Tom Holland, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Guy Stroumsa

Votes: 134

11. Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet (2002)

PG | 116 min | Documentary

Tells the story of the seventh century prophet who changed world history in 23 years, and continues to shapes the lives of more than 1.2 billion people. The film takes viewers not only to ... See full summary »

Directors: Omar Al-Qattan, Michael Schwarz

Votes: 739

12. Islam: Empire of Faith (2000)

160 min | Documentary, History

Islam: Empire of Faith is a documentary series, made in 2000, that details the history of Islam, from the birth of the Islamic Prophet, Muhammad to the Ottoman Empire.

The first episode ... See full synopsis »

Director: Robert H. Gardner | Star: Ben Kingsley

Votes: 665

13. A Jihad for Love (2007)

Unrated | 81 min | Documentary

55 Metascore

A documentary on gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims across the Muslim and Western worlds.

Director: Parvez Sharma | Stars: Muhsin Hendricks, A.K. Hoosen, Mazen, Abdellah Taia

Votes: 614 | Gross: $0.11M

14. The Dhamma Brothers (2008)

76 min | Documentary

East meets West in the Deep South. An overcrowded maximum-security prison-the end of the line in Alabama's correctional system-is dramatically changed by the influence of an ancient ... See full summary »

Directors: Andrew Kukura, Jenny Phillips, Anne Marie Stein | Stars: Grady Bankhead, Ron Cavanaugh, Jonathan Crowley, Edward Johnson

Votes: 404 | Gross: $0.03M

15. Honor Diaries (2013)

Not Rated | 61 min | Documentary, Crime, News

Several Muslim women activists discuss their stories and the state of women's rights in Muslim-majority nations.

Director: Micah Smith | Stars: Raheel Raza, Raquel Evita Saraswati, Juliana Taimoorazy

Votes: 213

16. Sons of Perdition (2010)

R | 85 min | Documentary

An inside look at former FLDS teens who have become religious refugees in mainstream America.

Directors: Tyler Measom, Jennilyn Merten | Stars: Bruce Barlow, Deloy Bateman, Michelle Benward, Kevin Black

Votes: 602

17. Alefbay-e afghan (2002)

45 min | Documentary

Documentary showing the life of children of the Afghan villages bordering Iran, and how their life and culture were affected by Taliban regime.

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf | Stars: Ghafour Barahouyi, Maryam Ozbak, Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Votes: 202

18. Dawkins: Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life (2012– )

Not Rated | 47 min

Ideas about the soul and the afterlife, of sin and God's purpose have shaped human thinking for thousands of years. Religious rituals remain embedded in the major events of our lives. In ... See full summary »

Stars: Richard Dawkins, Ricky Gervais

Votes: 467

19. To Kill a Sparrow (2014)

26 min | Documentary, Short, Drama

Today, there are over 800 young Afghan women imprisoned for so-called 'moral crimes.' These crimes include running away from unlawful forced marriages and domestic violence, or simply ... See full summary »

Director: Zohreh Soleimani

Votes: 14

20. Zeitgeist (2007 Video)

Not Rated | 118 min | Documentary, History

Mythology and belief in society today, presenting uncommon perspectives of common cultural issues.

Director: Peter Joseph | Stars: Chogyam Trungpa, Jordan Maxwell, George Carlin, Bill Hicks

Votes: 46,046

21. The Secret (2006 Video)

PG | 90 min | Documentary

Interviews with self-proclaimed authors, philosophers, scientists, with an in-depth discussion of visualizing your goals. The audience is shown how they can learn and use 'The Secret' in their everyday lives.

Director: Drew Heriot | Stars: Bob Proctor, Joe Vitale, John Assaraf, Loral Langemeier

Votes: 11,030

22. I Am (III) (2010)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary

38 Metascore

Director Tom Shadyac speaks with intellectual and spiritual leaders about what's wrong with our world and how we can improve both it and the way we live in it.

Director: Tom Shadyac | Stars: Tom Shadyac, Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, Ray Anderson

Votes: 3,241 | Gross: $1.57M

23. The Bible Unearthed: The Making of a Religion (2005– )

208 min | Documentary

A documentary based on the groundbreaking 2001 book with the same name by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman.

Votes: 18

24. Nova (1974– )
Episode: The Bible's Buried Secrets (2008)

TV-PG | 112 min | Documentary, Biography

A powerful partnership between science and scholarship breaks exciting new ground in investigating the origins of the ancient Israelites, their faith in a single, omnipotent God and the creation of the Bible.

Director: Gary Glassman | Stars: Liev Schreiber, Stockard Channing, Gabriel Barkay, Amnon Ben Tor

Votes: 82

25. Frontline (1983– )
Episode: Secrets of the Vatican (2014)

TV-PG | 84 min | Documentary

From PBS and Frontline: Pope Benedict made history when he announced his resignation, becoming the first Pope to step down voluntarily in six hundred years. In his wake he left a bitterly ... See full summary »

Director: Antony Thomas | Stars: Will Lyman, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI

Votes: 125

26. Noah's Ark: The Real Story (2003)

50 min | Documentary

A documentary that reexamines the biblical story of Noah in light of new archaeological evidence.

Director: Jean-Claude Bragard | Stars: George Couyas, Souad Faress, Nabil Massad, Peter Polycarpou

Votes: 5

27. Waiting for Armageddon (2009)

Not Rated | 74 min | Documentary

66 Metascore

America's 50-million strong Evangelical community is convinced that the world's future is foretold in Biblical prophecy - from the Rapture to the Battle of Armageddon. This astonishing ... See full summary »

Directors: Kate Davis, David Heilbroner, Franco Sacchi | Stars: Gary Bauer, Chip Berlet, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter

Votes: 338 | Gross: $0.01M

28. God Loves Uganda (2013)

TV-14 | 83 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

An account of the American Evangelicals' attempts to indoctrinate their Christian Right beliefs in Uganda.

Director: Roger Ross Williams

Votes: 1,096 | Gross: $0.05M

29. Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (2012)

TV-14 | 106 min | Documentary

73 Metascore

Alex Gibney explores the charged issue of pedophilia in the Catholic Church, following a trail from the first known protest against clerical sexual abuse in the United States and all the way to the Vatican.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Alex Gibney, Terry Kohut, Gary Smith, Pat Kuehn

Votes: 3,106

30. Meet the Mormons (2014)

PG | 78 min | Documentary

29 Metascore

Meet the Mormons examines the very diverse lives of six devout members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Filmed on location and across the globe, Meet the Mormons takes ... See full summary »

Director: Blair Treu | Stars: Jermaine Sullivan, Ken Niumatalolo, Carolina Muñoz Marin, Bishnu Adhikari

Votes: 1,866 | Gross: $5.88M

31. The Bible (2013– )

TV-14 | 440 min | Documentary, Action, Drama

A religious historical dramatic miniseries about God's creation and physical landmark events leading up to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Stars: Keith David, Robert Powell, Jake Canuso, Diogo Morgado

Votes: 9,647

32. An Honest Liar (2014)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy

76 Metascore

The life and career of the renowned stage magician turned scientific skeptic of the paranormal, James Randi.

Directors: Tyler Measom, Justin Weinstein | Stars: James Randi, Deyvi Peña, Penn Jillette, Teller

Votes: 8,015 | Gross: $0.12M

33. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus (2014)

Unrated | 115 min | Documentary, History

What is the validity of history found in the Bible? Is it fact or fiction? What does the hard evidence really have to say about the foundational story of the Old Testament: the Exodus out ... See full summary »

Director: Tim Mahoney | Stars: Charles Aling, Manfred Bietak, John Bimson, Mansour Boraik

Votes: 871

34. A Sinner in Mecca (2015)

79 min | Documentary

68 Metascore

For a gay filmmaker, filming in Saudi Arabia presents two serious challenges: filming is forbidden in the country and homosexuality is punishable by death. For filmmaker Parvez Sharma, ... See full summary »

Director: Parvez Sharma

Votes: 305

35. Awake: The Life of Yogananda (2014)

PG | 87 min | Documentary

54 Metascore

Unique biopic about Yogananda, telling the story of his life and influence on yoga, religion and science, combining re-enactment, interviews, and verité.

Directors: Paola di Florio, Lisa Leeman | Stars: George Harrison, Anupam Kher, Reed Rudy, Russell Simmons

Votes: 923 | Gross: $1.02M

36. Kumaré (2011)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary

60 Metascore

A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. At the height of his popularity, the Guru Kumaré must reveal his true identity to his disciples and unveil his greatest teaching of all.

Director: Vikram Gandhi | Stars: Vikram Gandhi, Toby, Greg, Molly

Votes: 4,419 | Gross: $0.13M

37. Jesus Camp (2006)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary

62 Metascore

A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady | Stars: Mike Papantonio, Lou Engle, Becky Fischer, Ted Haggard

Votes: 24,932 | Gross: $0.90M

38. American Experience (1988– )
Episode: The Amish: Shunned (2014)

Not Rated | 113 min | Documentary, Biography, History

Add a Plot

Director: Callie T. Wiser | Stars: Saloma Furlong, Anna, Naomi Kramer, Levi Shetler

Votes: 131

39. Sufi Soul: The Mystic Music of Islam (2005 TV Movie)

49 min | Documentary, Music

Sufi Soul: The Mystic Music of Islam, documents the many musical subcultures of Sufism as it was incorporated by different cultures in different regions. With many comparisons to ... See full summary »

Director: Simon Broughton | Stars: William Dalrymple, Salman Ahmed, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Votes: 96

40. My Son the Jihadi (2015 TV Special)

47 min | Documentary

Channel 4 documentary about British mother, Sally Evans, whose son, Thomas, had been recruited - and joined - Islamist terrorist organisation, Al Shabaab, in Somalia.

Director: Peter Beard | Stars: Michael Evans, Sally Evans, Thomas Evans

Votes: 132

41. Holy Hell (2016)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary

64 Metascore

An inside look at a West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the 1980s that eventually imploded.

Director: Will Allen | Stars: Will Allen, Dimitrius Pulido, Phillipe Coquet, David Christopher

Votes: 3,580 | Gross: $0.02M

42. Isis: The British Women Supporters Unveiled (2015 TV Movie)

Documentary

Channel 4 documentary Isis: the British Women Supporters Unveiled follows a 12-month undercover investigation, which penetrates the secret world of the women in the UK who support Isis, and... See full summary »

Director: Joanna Potts | Star: Poppy Begum

Votes: 66

44. Children of God (1994 TV Movie)

63 min | Documentary

A family describes their time within a religious cult, one that perpetuated pedophilia, sexual abuse, and prostitution.

Director: John Smithson | Stars: Sylvia Padilla, Miriam Padilla, Helen Mirren

Votes: 206

45. Manson (2009 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 90 min | Documentary, Crime, History

Follows Charles Manson's 'Family' member Linda Kasabian, and her story to what when on at Spahn's Movie Ranch and the final days leading up to the grisly 1969 Tate/La Bianca murders.

Director: Neil Rawles | Stars: Ryan Blakely, Meredith Cheesbrough, Sascha Cole, Roger Doche

Votes: 391

46. For the Love of a Man (2015)

85 min | Documentary

Actor, Leader, Hero, God. Men from various generations alter their lives, sell their belongings, and place fandom above their families in devotion to an iconic South Indian superstars.

Director: Rinku Kalsy | Stars: Raghuventh Manivannan, Kamal Anand, Babu, K. Hariharan

Votes: 55

47. Deprogrammed (2015)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

Deprogrammed chronicles Ted 'Black Lightning' Patrick's rise as the notorious 'Father of Deprogramming'.

Director: Mia Donovan | Stars: Balavanta Das, Hridayananda Das Goswami, Ted Patrick

Votes: 476

48. Naga the Eternal Yogi (2016)

Not Rated | 73 min | Documentary

A journey that will bring a young ascetic, belonging to the oldest Indian monastic order, to the most important religious festival for Hindu: The Kumbh Mela.

Directors: Krishna Agazzi, Filippo Gastaldi

Votes: 58

50. Among the Believers (2015)

84 min | Documentary, Biography, News

7.6