Atheist Film and TV (index)

by Luke Muehlhauser on January 27, 2010 in Atheist Film & TV,Indexes

Here you have it, an index for atheist film and TV I’ve written about on Common Sense Atheism.

I’ve ranked them in order of how aesthetically good I think they are.

  1. The White Ribbon
  2. Winter Light
  3. Begotten
  4. Avatar
  5. The Magdalene Sisters
  6. Frailty
  7. Agora
  8. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  9. Star Trek – “Who Watches the Watchers?”

(more to come)

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Andy Walters January 27, 2010 at 10:10 am

Hey Luke–

You should consider adding The Golden Compass to this list.

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Robert Gressis January 27, 2010 at 10:15 am

I think Crimes and Misdemeanors is a great atheist film.

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Scott January 27, 2010 at 10:46 am

Bergman’s entire Silence of God trilogy could fit here, as could most of Luis Bunuel’s works.

While his films are never explicitly atheistic, Kubrick didn’t believe in God. Another reason I adore him.

Also: Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Awesome.

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Jake de Backer January 27, 2010 at 10:47 am

This is officially the last supposed “Great Atheist or Anti-religious Movies” list that doesn’t mention Inherit The Wind. I get that at 25, I have a rare appreciation for people like Spencer Tracy and Gene Kelly but they can’t continue unrecognized while fucking Star Trek garners considerable approbation each time one of these lists are published. Star Trek, people. I live in a world where at any minute a natural disaster could remove me and everyone I’ve ever known from it’s surface. I simply can’t live in a world where Star Trek beats or is recognized above anything Tracy or Kelly are in. I’m sorry, unlike Yahweh, my tolerance for evil does have limits.

Christfully,
J.

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ildi January 27, 2010 at 10:49 am

How about The Handmaid’s Tale? Did it translate well into a movie? The book was disturbing, my introduction to Margaret Atwood’s work.

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Penneyworth January 27, 2010 at 11:05 am

Lewk, do you have a copy of Begotten? It’s not on netflix, and the dvd is 90$ on amazon!

Would you be willing to make me a bootleg copy?

Also, Who Watches the Watchers is less aesthetically good than the fuming pile of pig poo that is Star Trek V?? How dare you sir.

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Justfinethanks January 27, 2010 at 11:48 am

Another film I think would fall under this category is Antonia’s Line, which has themes of religious hypocrisy, celebrating life though culture, art, relationships, and sex, and features one Character who is a student of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, both of whom are quoted at points in the movie.
There is a even a scene near the end of the film when a young girl asks her Grandmother if there is a life after death, and she responds “This is the only dance we dance.”

Plus, it’s just an awesome, thoughtful movie.

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Lorkas January 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm

This isn’t a list of all the greatest atheist movies. It’s an index of all the atheist movies that he’s posted about.

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Beelzebub January 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm

@ Jake de Backer,

How…how dare you dis Star Trek.

Seriously, though, that was 1960, so let’s take a moment to assess how effectively that dampened Christian fundamentalism. The sad fact is that there haven’t been many pieces of entertainment that have challenged the religious status quo. Granted, a lot of people’s eyes glaze over when they hear the two words “science” and “fiction” put together, and a lot of people who go in for SF are already of the atheist bent.

Finally, not to beat on Inherit the Wind, but remember that at the end Tracy (Clarence Darrow) admits to Kelley (Mencken) he’s something of an agnostic, which follows the typical mid-century tendency to acquiesce in the end to the prevailing religious cultural norms. No matter how suggestive story was, they always had to blow it in the end by equivocation. To an extent, I suppose, that is still the case.

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Hermes January 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Penneyworth: Lewk, do you have a copy of Begotten? It’s not on netflix, and the dvd is 90$ on amazon!

Would you be willing to make me a bootleg copy?

Bootleg … bad form!

If you are willing to buy something else on Amazon using Luke’s account, I’d be glad to point you towards the same movie for about $20.

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ildi January 27, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Lorkas: This isn’t a list of all the greatest atheist movies. It’s an index of all the atheist movies that he’s posted about.  

Oh. Reading fail on my part!

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Rob January 27, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Humanite (Bruno Dumont, 1999)
Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont, 2009)
Under the Sun of Satan (Maurice Pialet, 1987)
Jesus, You Know (Ulrich Seidl, 2003)
The Seventh Continent (Michael Haneke, 1989)
Eclipse (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962)
My Night at Maud’s (Eric Rohmer, 1969)
Simon of the Desert (Louis Buñuel, 1965)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (Sam Peckinpah, 1974)
Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, 2007)
The Devil, Probably (Robert Bresson, 1977)
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (John McNaughton, 1986)
Cassandra’s Dream (Woody Allen, 2007)

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lukeprog January 27, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Rob,

Cool, I’ve only seen 5 of those, thanks.

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curious January 28, 2010 at 7:09 am

Another really good one is: Ricky Gervais’s “The Invention of Lying”
[spoiler]Ricky’s character invents a heaven story to sooth his dying mom. But, some people over hear him and his story spirals out of control.[/spoiler]

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Noophy January 28, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Does anyone remember which British TV show had those kids asking the priest/vicar questions during a dinner party? It was pretty funny. I think it was the same show that had the daughter tell her parents she decided to be atheist?
I think it’s fairly recent, a bunch of different blogs seemed to post the clips within the last year, just can’t find it.

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Hermes January 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Noophy: I think it’s fairly recent, a bunch of different blogs seemed to post the clips within the last year, just can’t find it.

The show is called Outnumbered.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewTnjqV_hxA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45ZdXr–4QA

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lukeprog January 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Hermes,

Thanks for hooking us up.

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Hermes January 29, 2010 at 7:57 pm

[ tips winged helm ]

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angelie July 4, 2010 at 9:36 am

@curious – agree ! on “The Invention of Lying”

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Nathan July 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I highly recommend watching Touching the Void. It’s a survival documentary about mountain climbers. Throughout the horrific experience the climber never called out to God, and realized that he truly didn’t believe. The whole story plays out like one of those testimonies we’ve all heard in church and seems every bit as miraculous…but ends up being one gigantic counterexample. The whole movie, I kept thinking, “If this guy had been a Christian, this story would be all over the churches.”

I also recommend the documentary about Jonestown if you haven’t seen it. One of the most horrific things I’ve seen. I felt sick for days.

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Julian Doyle April 25, 2011 at 9:25 am

Thought you might be interested in this new book – LIFE OF BRIAN/JESUS

“Great stuff. Lots of blasphemies!” Terry Gilliam

“A mischievous journey of discovery!” Terry Jones

http://www.facebook.com/lifeofjesusbook?sk=app_4949752878

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