No, not an obscure Hitchcock remix of a DeMille epic. It's a small documentary. It suffers from its smallness, and it's smallness of scope. I think the filmmaker should watch Fast, Cheap and Out of Control 20 times, purge self of Michael Moore schtick and re-edit.
Mostly, my complaints are about the preaching to the converted. The film could have been much more dramatic and compelling just interviewing more talking heads and mixing them together, but instead we have some funny pseudo-high quality flying graphics, and some quippy attitude from our narrator / filmmaker.
If this sounds harsh, it's only because some of the interviews he did get were quite good an could have been longer. But, like any good self-serving atheist, his dogmatism is against the theism and quite pro the "a" part.
I was raised in a quite liberal church, and saw what could happen when you get a bunch of reasonable people together who agree to not judge each other for their levels of faith. The ground work was laid by saying "Okay, we're all here and all believe some level on the continuum, let's not focus on the differences and instead group our collective power to do some good." And by good I mean, charities without conversion goals, supporting people in times of crises without judgement, and those kinda things.
But, I'm not a believer, and can't say I ever really was. I've witnessed first hand how religion does some good things, but then I think that this one small group of churches is vastly outnumbered today by people I have no sympathy for. Their ignorance is incomprehensible, as witnessed not in this documentary but one that recently aired in Britain by Richard Dawkins titled The Root of All Evil? Dawkins interviewed the pastor of a mega-church after a service, and Dawkins compared it to the Nuremberg Rallies, and that Goebbels would be proud. The pastor ignorantly laughs, and said "Well, I don't know anything about these Nuremberg rallies, but a lot of people compare it to a rock concert."
When you're dealing with ignorance that complete--and this, mind you, the leader of thousands of the devout--then we're only talking about brainwashing, mind control and the devastation of independent thought for the simple goal of unification.
I'm with the author interviewed who asked that if everything was true, and he was in an awful hell experiencing the worst predictions of the devout, would he have a moment of doubt and wishing he had just believed? He answered that he wouldn't change his mind, because the alternative would be living in a heaven and knowing that millions of souls were in hell suffering greatly for an eternity. No matter how great the harps and wings, it could never outweigh the awfulness and exclusionary beliefs of the people who surrounded you--those who would sell you out to hell in a second as long as they get to live like kings.Where we saw it: DVD | We deign to rate it: 55 outta 100