Atheist Films

The film discussions below contain many spoilers, including plot resolution.

The films of a nation reflect its mentality in a more direct way than other artistic media.  

Siegfried Kracauer. From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1947.

The films of a nation surely reflect on its mentality and United States cinema all too often exhibits its theist bent in its films.  The religiosity is overt in some cases, such as Chariots of Fire (1981) and other films in which prayer is exhibited, characters are seen going to or coming from church, mentions are made of the Bible and so on.  The theistic proclivity of America is often portrayed in a more subtle and impressionistic manner, as well.  The viewer understands that the rustling of leaves of the trees, or the wind blowing over the grass or water during significant scenes often signals the presence or the attention of a creator god. Terrence Malick employs such devices to perfection in his recent Tree of Life (2011) In Napoleon Dynamite (2004) a popular cult film, a character who has been elected class president looks thankfully up at the sky.  The audience knows he is thanking god for his election.

Films are an expensive business.  To write a novel, poem, play, musical composition or choreograph a dance piece all one needs initially is a pen and paper, or a computer.  Paintings and prints need a computer, or paper, paints, pencils and some equipment.  A film needs producers, investors, a director, a complex film crew, and highly sophisticated technology. Although there are many exceptions for independent films, the average cost of a film in the present day is $65 to $100 million dollars. The returns must be commensurate with the expense. In a country given over to religious superstition, the easy path to the most money can sometimes be to make an overtly religious film, such as The Passion of the Christ (2004.) Another ploy is to film a secular subject with theist connotations built in, a sort of nod to the religious convictions most Americans share. Hector Avalos, a biblical scholar who has called for the end to traditional biblical studies (see The End of Biblical Studies in Biblical Criticism), partially blames the print and film media for perpetuating the idea that theism and the Bible have relevance for contemporary society.  Avalos states that the media “portray the Bible and its characters in the best light possible. (334)  He goes on to say that many Hollywood films “promote a certain vision of Christian theology. “(334.)

Films with an agnostic, doubting or atheist slant, however, continue to be made.  There is definitely an audience for them.  Almost 20% of the American public answers “non- affiliated” to surveys asking what church they attend (see Atheist Demographics). Films critical of various aspects of religion have one important advantage. When they are made, they are most frequently of superior quality, and worth viewing many times. The Movie List below discusses six films considered timeless and a general list of films with a secular viewpoint that are considered of exceptional quality. 

Viewers of films can sharpen their appreciation of the movies they watch by knowing some of the ways film makers make use of the technology available to them to underscore their message.  There are multiple techniques.  Camera shots from on high make the characters look diminished, or shots from a low angle make the hero look large and in control- such techniques are regularly employed by the director and cinematographer.  The viewer might observe if the entire film is shot with the appearance of closed space, which does not look as though there is a world outside the frame that encloses the characters.  Such a mise-en-scene would suggest the characters are in a restrictive, claustrophobic situation.  Are there distortions of movement?  Fast motion suggests comedic action, while motion that is slowed down achieves a graceful, choreographed effect.  Loud sounds are intense and forceful, while quiet sound may suggest weakness or delicacy.  There are many facets of the technical aspects of film to learn and once learned, will enhance the viewer’s enjoyment and understanding while viewing cinema.  There are two excellent beginning books for film studies listed below.

Films with a secular, agnostic viewpoint, infrequent as they are, are generally welcomed by the secular community.  We are fortunate that most of the films below on the Film List are available on DVD. The viewer is able to watch the movie several times, pause, rewind, fast forward and play the accompanying commentary.   Atheist films are the more appreciated by the secular community because they are so few. Because secular film is very often a collaboration between like-minded individuals, and a special project of the director, the quality is usually quite high, as mentioned above.  The message, whether anti-clerical, non- theist, or simply godless, is delivered forcefully, with all the art available to the production crew.  No serious study of the non-theist film has yet been published.  Such a project would be an excellent theme for a dissertation or a book for the aspiring graduate student. 

It is a truism among cinema lovers and critics that many films end with a resolution of conflicts that are not so easily reconciled in life.  Such endings may give viewers, including atheists, energy to not simply leave the theatre content with a filmic resolution, but with a strong desire to remedy the conflicts and further the atheist cause in the real world.

Books on Filmmaking and Film Analysis

There are two fine volumes for the beginning film student.  They are both regularly assigned by college professors for beginning film courses:

Bordwell, David. Film Art: An Introduction. 9th Revised Ed. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2010.

Giantetti, Louis D. Understanding Movies. 12th Ed. New Jersey: Allyn and Bacon, 2010.

Both volumes discuss the various aspects of filmmaking theory and techniques.  The reader will learn about photography, sound, camera work, movement, mise-en-scene, film style as a formal system, editing and narrative.  There are additional critical analyses of films, along with discussions of ideology in film, animation and documentaries.

Bordwell is the more sophisticated volume, particularly in the area of critical analysis of film.  Bordwell’s volume offers frequent shot by shot analyses of scenes from different movies that help elucidate their themes.  Bordwell is highly recommended.  Gianetti’s volume offers similar information, but the style is most suited for the college freshman level.  The chapter on ideology is definitely for a bright high school senior or a freshman in college, and many readers with a film background will not find it useful.  Both books are copiously illustrated, well indexed and contain excellent bibliographies for further reading. 

The following Films have been chosen for their merit by critics and viewers.

Recommended Films

Crimes and Misdemeanors.Dir. Woody Allen. With Woody Allen and Martin Landau. U.S.A., 1989.

Woody Allen’s 1989 film interrogates as many varieties of belief and unbelief as Bergman’s Seventh Seal (See Below.) Wealthy, sophisticated people in contemporary Manhattan find themselves seeking answers and meaning as much as people did during the Middle Ages in Europe. 

There are two mingled plots in the film.  In the first, Judah, a wealthy, highly respected ophthalmologist, is threatened by his clandestine mistress, Dolores.  She wants him to leave his wife; if he does not she will reveal the affair and some of Judah’s shady financial dealings to his wife.  After consulting with his rabbi friend (who is going blind,) Judah determines he does not want to confess to his wife.  He turns to his mobster brother, Jack, who has Dolores killed.  Going to her apartment to remove incriminating evidence, Judah stares into Dolores’ dead eyes and sees no soul in them.  He is tormented by guilt for a long time, but eventually recovers, which leads to the question of whether he should have confessed or not.  He is a guilty man.  There are two opposite belief systems in the first portion of Crimes and Misdemeanors. The blind rabbi tells Judah that he, Judah, sees the world as harsh, cold and pitiless. The rabbi believes the world has a moral structure, that it is invested with meaning and forgiveness, and that there is a higher power. 

The second plot line is more comic.  An unsuccessful documentary filmmaker, Cliff, is working on a film about a contemporary philosopher, Levy, whose world view he admires.  To raise money for the project, he agrees to make a complimentary documentary about his brother-in-law, Lester.  While filming, he falls in love with Haley, a producer, but she rebuffs him.  Cliff makes a mocking documentary about Lester, who is an egotistical boor, and is fired.  The philosopher Cliff was going to film commits suicide. Haley becomes engaged to Lester while they are in Europe together. Cliff’s marriage ends.

The two plots mingle when Judah and Cliff meet at a wedding.  Judah tells his story to Cliff as though it’s an idea for a film.  Cliff says the murderer should have confessed, because in the absence of a god, “he is forced to assume he has responsibility himself.” Most critics assert that Judah has totally recovered and does not suffer guilt.  But the way he tells Cliff the story contradicts this view somewhat.  He still appears to be a man tormented, if not every day, from time to time.  Why would he obliquely “confess” to Cliff?  He does not look like the happy man he claims to be. 

Crimes and Misdemeanors is an interrogation of the meaning of life and morality without a god. But Allen’s conclusions, brilliant as they may be, find no middle ground.  Either the world is invested with meaning because of belief in god, or it’s a cold, conscienceless place seen from the view of the non believer.  Allen seems to be saying that while the atheism is the more intelligent stance, it is not a happy or moral one.  There is a great deal of eye symbolism in the film.  The rabbi, who sees the world in positive terms and believes in a higher power, is blind. Dolores, who romantically believes eyes are “the window of the soul,” brings on her own murder because of her vindictiveness.  Judah is an eye specialist, but he has no insight.  He entered the affair with Dolores partly from egotism; he has her murdered partly from the egoistic fear of being exposed as a hypocrite and losing his family’s and community’s respect.  Cliff exposes Lester as a sham through the visual documentary, but fails to “see” his own self-defeating behavior. 

Woody Allen gives the film’s last words to the dead philosopher and they are worth quoting. Many secular viewers will find a simple, but deep, wisdom in them. “It is only we, with our capacity to love, that give meaning to an indifferent universe.  And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying and find joy from simple things- from their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more.”

Elmer Gantry. Dir. Richard Brooks. With Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons. Columbia Pictures Ranch, 1960.

Elmer Gantry is about a fast talking and hell raising salesman who falls in love with a lady evangelist and joins her crusade.  They become lovers and he preaches hell fire and damnation to frighten the crowd, and then she comes on and preaches redemption and salvation.  Gantry becomes more hypocritical and publicity seeking as time goes by.  A newspaperman who is a skeptic begins to quarrel with him publicly and this increases the interest in the evangelist crusade.  There is no question that Gantry is a sham.

Gantry next invades a brothel with the news media in tow on a morals crusade for publicity.  A former girlfriend of his, who became a prostitute after their affair, is in the brothel and is very angry with Gantry.  She tries to blackmail him out of $25,000, but then has a change of heart.  Unfortunately for Gantry, the incriminating photos she has are eventually published in a newspaper and his reputation is ruined.  The formerly admiring crowd at the revival meeting pelts him with eggs and curses him.  The prostitute’s lover/pimp beats her because she did not obtain $25,000 from Gantry.  Gantry comes in and stops the beating.  His former girlfriend now has a change of heart and publicly clears Gantry’s name.

Gantry returns to the female evangelist on the opening night of their new tabernacle.  He tries to convince her to lead a more normal life with him, but she is completely invested in her crusade.  During services, the tabernacle catches fire, but instead of fleeing, the young woman refuses to leave in time and dies there.  Gantry attains some insight and realizes that his behavior as a preacher has been immoral and hypocritical.  He departs town, determined to leave the ministry and his formerly duplicitous ways.  He has grown conscious of ethical behavior and experiences a personal sense of moral awakening. 

Elmer Gantry is an adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’ 1927 novel of the same name.  The film is softer than the book, which deals with religious hypocrisy and unbelief in mainstream clergy and revivalist preachers both. Lewis exposes the fake religion and hucksterism of the churches of America with great skill, and the novel is more scathing than the film.  Nevertheless Gantry remains an interesting and revealing psychological portrait of a phony religious huckster.  Viewers get very little sense that Gantry is even a believer as he goes about his preaching and publicity hunting.  His evangelist girlfriend is portrayed as a woman so taken in by her own egotistical role as saver of souls that she dies in the fire rather than admit that god will not save her and her tabernacle.

The acting, camera work and high level technical skill help make Elmer Gantry a must see film.  Burt Lancaster won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the con man preacher.  The film is very anti-clerical and replete with insight into Christian hawking of salvation for cash.

Inherit the Wind. Dir. Stanley Kramer. With Spencer Tracy and Fredric March. Stanley Kramer Productions, 1960.

Inherit the Wind is an adaptation of an earlier stage play.  Both dramas were based on the famous Scopes “Monkey” Trial of the 1920’s.  The film has been criticized for not being accurate, but those who have read the original transcripts of the trial maintain that there is a great deal of verbatim material from them in the movie.  Cates, a stand-in for the original Scopes, is arrested for teaching evolution to his sophomore students in violation of Tennessee’s Butler Act.  There is a circus atmosphere in the small town as fundamentalist politician Brady arrives to argue for the prosecution.  He is modeled loosely on the actual politician who was in the courtroom, the famous William Jennings Bryan. The strains of the song, “Give Me That Old Time Religion” echo throughout many scenes, underscoring the backward thinking of the people against teaching evolution. The lawyer for the defense, Henry Drummond, comes to town almost unnoticed.  He is a stand -in for the famous Clarence Darrow who did argue for the defense in the Scopes trial.   Darrow was an atheist and an eminent trial lawyer.  Hornbeck, the cynical newspaper columnist, also arrives in town.  He is modeled on the famous H.L. Menken, who covered the trial and heaped derision in print on Bryan.   There is a love interest in the film as well.  The town’s fundamentalist minister’s daughter is in love with the teacher and while torn, decides to remain on the side of her lover.

The courtroom scenes are high drama, with Spencer Tracy (Drummond) and Frederic March (Brady) verbally sparring.  Drummond grills Brady on his knowledge of the Bible and his opinions concerning what Brady considers a holy book.  Hornbeck, just as the real Mencken did, sends dispatches back to his newspaper that ridicule Brady in a very effective manner. The Atheist Scholar has read Mencken’s reviews of the original trial and they very brilliantly and with fine style pile scorn on Bryan and the town’s hick fundamentalists.  Spencer Tracy and Frederic March provide splendid acting in the courtroom, which is the very center of the drama. Casey is found guilty and fined $100.00 ($1250 dollars adjusted to today.) The prosecution won, but the film makes clear that the Scopes supporters won an important moral victory from the case. The theme of the movie is the defense of free ppeech versus those who would restrict it.

The Scopes case was considered a moral victory for free speech.  But the backlash was enormous around the country and evolution was not taught in United States’ public classrooms until around the 1960’s.  Competition from the Russian space program during the Cold War spurred the United States to focus on education.  In 1958, the National Defense Education Act was passed which provided funding for educational institutions at all levels.  Evolution was emphasized as the unifying principle of biology.  Tennessee rescinded the Butler Act in 1967.  The situation in United States public schools today is sobering.  Many students are not being taught evolution. The fight for science against superstition is a battle that is heated, divisive and severe in America. (See Evolution, Creationism, etc.)

Life of Brian. Dir. Terry Jones. With Terry Jones and Monty Python Group.  Handmade Films- Python (Monty) Pictures, 1979.

Life of Brian was considered blasphemous when it was released and many bans were placed on it in England and elsewhere so it would not be shown.  Nevertheless it was a huge success in both Britain and the United States.  It is frequently on critic and viewer lists of the greatest film comedies. 

A young man named Brian Cohen is born in the stable next to the one Jesus is born in, on the same night.  This coincidence confuses many people, particularly the Three Wise Men.  The comedy continues with the juxtaposition of Brian with Jesus throughout the entire film.  It’s a clever device to poke fun at the Jesus myth by substituting someone else for him, yet making the Brian story very similar to the biblical story in the New Testament.

Brian resents the Roman occupation of his country and is attracted by a young woman in the rebel group.  Trying to avoid arrest by Roman guards one day, he begins to speak in religious clichés and soon a crowd gathers around him and begins to follow him. The word spreads that Brian is the messiah and the scenes of Brian trying to get rid of his followers are high comedy.  His every word is considered doctrinal. He is arrested finally and brought before Pontius Pilate.  Pilate ultimately agrees to release him, but a group of crucified people all claim to be “Brian” and the wrong person is released.  Brian is crucified and everyone deserts him, including his mother and girlfriend.  His fellow victims cheer him up with a rousing song, “Look on the bright side of Life!”

Life of Brian is a brilliant piece of filmmaking and the jokes are genuinely funny.  The most interesting point of the film is the psychological one.  Brian explores in a comic manner the viral nature of belief. The depiction of an ordinary man and his platitudinous sayings becoming an object of worship is fascinating to observe.  The untruth flies from one person to the next until a mob embraces the entire myth.  The comedy, Life of Brian, is a scathing examination of the nature of crowds and the spread of rumor, sometimes culminating in hysterical belief, sometimes in violence.

The Seventh Seal. Dir. Ingmar Bergman.  With Max Von Sydow and Bibi Andersson. AB Svensk Filmindustri, 1957.

The Seventh Seal is a profound film set in the time of the Black Death in Europe.  A knight, Block, is returning from the Crusades with his squire.  The knight is tormented by the question of belief in god and has been for some time.  The title of the film refers to the Book of Revelation’s description of a silence in heaven when the Seventh Seal is broken, signaling the end of the world.  The passage from Revelation is used at the beginning and end of the film, referring to the last days and to the silence of god.  The knight’s squire is a courageous atheist.  They journey through a landscape riddled with the corpses of people killed by the plague.  The knight encounters Death, and plays chess on the beach with the pale, black-robed vision.  Death agrees he will not take Block until the chess game is over.  Later, in a confessional booth, Block tells Death (who pretends to be a priest) his chess strategy and states that he plans to use his temporary reprieve for “one meaningful deed.”

The knight and his squire resume their return journey to the Knight’s castle, and while on their way, they encounter a small family of actors.  The husband, Jos, has second sight and his wife is a believer.  The knight is charmed by their little family and will eventually offer them safety if they travel to his castle with him. Block and his squire, Jon, meet a girl about to be burned as a witch, and the hypocritical priest, Raval, who had convinced Block ten years before to join the Crusades.  Jon saves a mute girl from being raped by Raval, and later, saves the actor, Jos, from Raval’s torture. Raval makes Jos dance like a bear in a tavern and incites the locals to threaten Jos with violence.  Jon cuts Raval on the face as he had warned Raval he would do if he caught him engaging in cruel acts. Raval dies an excruciating death from the plague later in the film.

Block and Jon acquire a few more people to accompany them to the castle.  The actor, Jos, however, sees Death playing chess with Block, which no one else can detect.  The others believe the knight is playing chess by himself.  Jos becomes frightened and determines to leave with his family. Block notices them leaving and to distract Death, knocks over the chess pieces, giving the actor family time to escape.  He has thus performed his “one meaningful deed.” Death wins the game and announces that on his next appearance he will take Block and all those traveling with him.  Death asks Block if he has performed his meaningful deed and Block answers that he has, which makes Death look angry and malign.  Block, Jon and their party reach the castle.  The knight is reunited with his wife, who is alone because all the servants have fled.  They have a final dinner, and Death arrives to take them all away.  Jos, the actor who has made good his family’s escape, tells his wife that he “sees” Death leading the knight and his friends away, holding hands and dancing gracefully in the rain which washes their tears away.  The audience also sees this sad, but beautiful vision. 

Most of the characters in the Seventh Seal respond to the dilemma of god’s existence and of meaning in the world with varied philosophies.  The knight can neither believe nor disbelieve.  He seeks evidence for the proof of there being a god but can find none to ease his painful doubt.  The atheist squire, Jon, believes only in himself, and he says that he is “meaningless to Heaven.” The girl he has saved from rape has stopped speaking.  The young woman accused of being a witch has gone mad.  The actor’s wife and Block’s wife are believers. 

The cinematography is by the great Gunnar Fischer in black and white, and is the most poetic and formally sophisticated camera work of all six films discussed in the Film List.  Belief and unbelief are explored in all their aspects in simple scenes that are transporting or terrifying, but always incredibly layered with deep philosophical concepts. Bergman never settles the question of god for the audience or for the knight.  Block asks Death in the confessional: “Is it so cruelly inconceivable to grasp God with the senses? Why should he hide himself in a mist of half-spoken promises and unseen miracles?” Death does not answer.  The viewer might attempt an answer- that the god the knight seeks so desperately is not there and does not exist.

The Wizard of Oz Dir. Victor Fleming.  With Judy Garland and Bert Lahr. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1939.

The Wizard of Oz is nearly always included in critic and viewer lists of top ten films of all time.  It won two Academy Awards. Shown on television in 1956, it became a yearly tradition seen by many Americans. The plot is an American movie fantasy, which was taken from the 1900 children’s fairy tale by L. Frank Baum.  Baum’s book was influenced by his freethinking mother-in-law, Matilda Joslyn Gage, the women’s rights and anti-slavery activist. (See Atheism in American History)  The film stands on its own as a secular statement that there is no master wizard or god behind the curtain to direct us.  Some of the plot elements foreshadow the ending’s pointed reference to the illusionary nature of our belief in a wise wizard or supernatural being that can take care of us and give us what we lack.

A little girl, Dorothy (Judy Garland,) runs away from her home in Kansas when her dog bites a neighbor. The neighbor then insists that the dog, Toto, must be put to sleep.  On the way, Dorothy has a change of heart, and she and Toto try to return home.  But when they get there, the family is in the storm shelter. A tornado sweeps away the house with the child and dog in it. They land in a strange village in the land of the Munchkins, but the falling house has killed the Wicked Witch of the East.  Dorothy is given the dead Witch’s magic red shoes by the good Witch Gilda.  The dead witch’s sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, comes in and claims the ruby slippers, but Gilda reminds her she has no power in Munchkinland.  Vowing revenge, the Wicked Witch leaves.  When Dorothy asks how to go home, she is told she must find the powerful Wizard of Oz.  On her way to Emerald City on the yellow brick road, Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, who needs a brain, the Tin Man who lacks a heart, and a Cowardly Lion who needs courage.  They set out to find The Wizard of Oz, whom they believe will provide them all with what they lack.

On the way to the Wizard, all three of Dorothy’s friends demonstrate that they have acquired the traits that each one needs, but they still believe that the Wizard must grant these gifts to them.  The Wicked Witch of the West sets a trap for them, but they escape it and finally find the Wizard.  He is a disembodied head, surrounded by smoke and flames, and has a frightening, booming voice.  He tells them he will help them but that they must first bring him the Wicked Witch of the West’s broom. The Witch learns of their mission and sets her flying monkey army on them. Dorothy and Toto are captured, and the Wicked Witch threatens to drown Toto. But when Dorothy agrees to give up the powerful ruby slippers to save her dog, sparks fly from them.  The Witch leaves to try to figure out how she can obtain the slippers and Toto escapes.  He brings Dorothy’s friends back and a battle ensues when they free her.  The Wicked Witch sets the Scarecrow’s arm on fire with her broomstick, and when Dorothy pours water on him, the Wicked Witch is splashed and melts.

The group returns to the Wizard to claim their rewards, but Toto pulls a curtain back and the Wizard is revealed to be an ordinary man speaking into a microphone in a booth with wheels and levers. He explains that the three friends, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion already have what they thought they lacked and leaves them in charge of Emerald City.  The Wizard, Dorothy and Toto leave for Kansas, but they become separated.  Eventually Dorothy and Toto return home on their own.  Dorothy clicks her heels three times, reciting “there is no place like home.” She wakes up in bed, surrounded by her loved ones. They tell her she was having a dream. She promises never to leave again, because there is no place like home.

The film is a splendid, Technicolor fantasy, with excellent musical interludes.  But the moral of the story is what is most interesting to the secular viewer. There are two interconnected themes in the Wizard, both of them a wonderful message for the young, but also for all ages.  The first theme of the film is that there is no powerful being to give us what we want. The second thematic insight is that what we need is within our power to achieve by our own efforts. There might be magic in the Wizard of Oz, but the viewer learns that the best magic is the kind we make on our own.

List of Films of Interest to Atheists

Welcome to the ever evolving movie list for free thinkers, atheists, secular humanists, non-church goers, separation of church and state supporters and independent thinkers. This is a starter list and in no way suggests completion.

The purpose of this list is to provide a resource for movies that deal in some way with  secularism versus sectarianism, faith versus reason, liturgical literalisms versus scientific principals and common sense, theocracy versus democracy…By “movies” we include movies, documentaries, television news magazine segments, conferences and other presentations caught on camera.Categories are subjective and idiosyncratic. Some titles could just as well appear in one category as another.

These titles are a warning about accepting someone else’s fantasy as fact without engaging in a reality check. They also can cause one to question the given order of society, the nature of religion, the assumed righteousness of power structures and the evils of sectarianism.  Many of them demonstrate the dire consequences of following theocratic ideals to an extreme. Some are not atheism or agnosticism per se, but we have included them for their interesting secular and skeptical viewpoint.  Many of them are anticlerical in nature. We have culled many atheist, agnostic, humanist and etc. websites for titles of an independent nature, and added many others from years of film viewing.

    Agora (2009); Alejandro Amenabar

    300 (2007); Zack Snyder

    2001: A Space Odyeesy (1968); Stanley Kubrick

    A History of Disbelief-3 Parts (2007); Jonathon Miller

    Religulous (2008); Bill Maher

    Blade Runner (1982); Ridley Scott

    Carlin on Campus; (1984); George Carlin

    Chocolat (2000); Lase Hallstrom

    Citizen Ruth (1996); Alexander Payne

    Contact (1997); Robert Zemeckis

    Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989); Woody Allen

    Crucible, The (1956); Raymond Rouleau

    Deliver Us From Evil (2006); Amy Berg

    Devils, The (1971); Ken Russell

    Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972); Luis Bunuel

    Elmer Gantry (1960); Richard Brooks

    Eye of God (1997); Tim Blake Nelson

    Gattaca (1997); Andrew Niccol

    God Who Wasn’t There (2005); Brian Fleming

    Golden Compass (Chris Weitz

    Hell House-Doc (2001) George Ratliff

    History of the World, Part One (1981); Mel Brooks

    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005); Garth Jennings

    Inherit The Wind (1960); Stanley Kramer

    Jesus Camp (2006); Rachel Grady

    Judgement Day: ID on Trail (2007); American Experience

    Leap of Faith (1992); Richard Pearce

    Letting Go of God (2008); Julia Sweeney

    Marjoe (1972); Howard Smith

    Match Point (2005); Woody Allen

    Monty Python’s Life pf Brian (1979); Terry Jones

    Monty Python’s Meaning of Life (1983); Terry Jones

    Names of the Rose (1986); Jean-Jacques Annaud

    Night of the Hunter (1995); Charles Laughton

    Nightmare Alley (1947); Edmund Golding

    Oranges are not the Only Fruit (1990); Beeban Kidron

    Osama (2003); Siddiq Barmak

    Penn and Teller Bullshit Series (2003-2006); Penn and Teller

    Persepolis (2007); Paronnaud; Marjane Satrapi

    Planet of the Apes (1968); Franklin J. Schaffner

    Oueen Margot (1994); Partice Chereau

    Rain (1932); Lewis Milestone

    Salome’s Last Dance (1988); Ken Russell

    September Dawn (2007); Christopher Cain

    Seventh Seal, The (1956); Ingmar Bergman

    Simon of the Dessert (1965);Luis Bunuel

    Sin City (2005); Rober Rodriguez

    Tartuffe (1990); Bill Alexander

    The Handmaid’s Tale (1990); Volker Schlondo

    The Magdalene Sisters(2002); Peter Mullan
    There Will Be Blood (2007); Paul Thomas Anderson

    Truman Show, The (1998); Peter Weir

    V for Vendetta (2006); James McTeigue

    Viridania (1961); Luis Bunuel

    Waking Life (2001); Richard Linklater

    Water (2005); Deepa Mehta

    Wicker Man (1975); Robin Hardy

    Wizard of Oz (1939); Victor Fleming