Bill Maher interviews some of religion's oddest adherents. Muslims, Jews and Christians of many kinds pass before his jaundiced eye. Maher goes to a Creationist Museum in Kentucky, which shows that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time 5000 years ago. He talks to truckers at a Truckers' Chapel. (Sign outside: "Jesus love you.") He goes to a theme park called Holy Land in Florida. He speaks to a rabbi in league with Holocaust deniers. He talks to a Muslim musician who preaches hatred of Jews. Maher finds the unlikeliest of believers and, in a certain Vatican priest, he even finds an unlikely skeptic.Written by
After the credits, there is one last clip of Bill Maher with his mother and sister. He tells them "I'll see you in heaven", and they laugh. His mother says "who knows," and there is a title card "In loving memory of Julie Maher, 1919-2007". See more »
Not just a propaganda piece, and more accessible than most of Bill Maher's creative output, Religulous still preaches to the choir (please excuse this phrase). However, the film does not seek to convert; rather, Maher wants current agnostics to gather their courage and preach their doubts. Deeply atheist and deeply religious people who see the film will likely be offended or feel as though their time has been wasted.
While this film is not as funny as Borat, Religulous (which, at times is actually pretty scary) is a more powerful film because this film is true. For a project written by and starring Maher, the clips in the film are (for the most part) surprisingly fair. Maher does not try to make any of the people in the film look stupid (at least no more stupid than himself); in fact, he (usually) tries to help people consider the position not that their personal/religious beliefs are incorrect but that their personal beliefs may be incorrect. Most people in the film will not consider this possibility (these are the people Maher is warning us about), but several important and seemingly wise religious figures also featured in the film agree with Maher about the danger of certainty.
I recommend Frailty to anyone who would like to see a fictional, story-line illustration of the main theme of this documentary/propaganda film. I recommend Religulous to anyone who is comfortable enough with himself/herself to doubt their personal beliefs, to consider the possibility that (s)he might be wrong.
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