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Religulous (2008)

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Bill Maher's take on the current state of world religion.

Director:

Larry Charles
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Bill Maher ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tal Bachman Tal Bachman ... Himself
Jonathan Boulden Jonathan Boulden ... Himself
Steven Burg Steven Burg ... Himself
Francis Collins ... Himself
George Coyne George Coyne ... Himself (as Father George Coyne PhD)
Benjamin Creme Benjamin Creme ... Himself
Jeremiah Cummings Jeremiah Cummings ... Himself
Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda ... Himself
Fatima Elatik Fatima Elatik ... Herself
Yahuda Etzion Yahuda Etzion ... Himself
Reginald Foster Reginald Foster ... Himself (as Father Reginald Foster)
Mohamed Junas Gaffar Mohamed Junas Gaffar ... Himself
Bill Gardiner Bill Gardiner ... Himself
Ted Haggard ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

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 J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The end (crossed out) truth is near. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew | Arabic | Persian | Spanish

Release Date:

3 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Spiritual Journey See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,409,643, 5 October 2008

Gross USA:

$13,011,160

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,639,115
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thousand Words See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film used the fake working title "A Spiritual Journey" in order to obtain interviews with religious leaders. They were unaware that Bill Maher was involved in the film until he arrived for the interviews. See more »

Goofs

Bill's rant about Scientology's take on the Meaning of Life is improvised and a little inaccurate. 75 million years ago the Galactic Warlord Xenu, because of overpopulation, brought Aliens, not Humans, to Earth (aka "Teegeeack") having frozen them with glycol-alcohol, stacked them around a volcano and blew them up with Hydrogen Bombs. The souls or "Operating Thetans" of these Aliens attached to Primitive Man. This is the source of everyone's problems, which Scientology supposedly cures. See more »

Quotes

Bill Maher: Van Gogh, was assassinated right here? He was a Dutch Filmmaker, he made a ten-minute film, it was deeply offensive... to Muslims. Lots of people think that free speech goes right up to this point and then right up to when you're talking about religion, you're talking about the Prophet, all bets are off.
Fatima Elatik: Freedom of speech. It goes both ways, freedom of speech.
Bill Maher: It goes both ways but the people who actually usually do the killing...
Fatima Elatik: Yeah
Bill Maher: -for it wind up on the Muslim side. Do you think that says ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Features Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Bound For The Promised Land
Traditional, Arranged by Neil Cross
Performed by Rob Bryton, Neil Cross
Vocals by Rob Bryton, Tony Daniels, Susan Hart
Produced by Rob Bryton
Copyright 2008 BWP inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Maher's Catechism; Questions, No Answers
30 September 2008 | by janos451See all my reviews

With 16 percent of the U.S. population, the un-/non-/anti-religious represent a larger segment than blacks (13%), gays (3%), or NRA members (2%). Never mind the exact figures (which vary from source to source), focus on the question what kind of lobby do the non-religious have, with impact approaching those other groups? None, alas. Why is that?

It could be this: The militantly religious must be *right*, the secular - by definition - will not fight to the death for his truth (or god, not in evidence). My money is on the righteous, the fervent, the militant, the possessed. One day, they may even have an influence over the U.S. government! Meanwhile, in our corner, there is Bill Maher.

His "Religulous," directed by Larry Charles, is an entertaining, funny, angry, thought-provoking journey from the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Via Dolorosa, the Qumran Caves, to Stonehenge, Habibi Ana (and a Moslem Gay bar), the Vatican, the Holy Land Experience Park in Florida, the U.S. Capitol, Mormon Tabernacle, and many others.

Everywhere, Maher is asking a few simple questions: What do you believe, why, and how can you possibly...? Half Catholic, half Jewish, and fully agnostic, Maher is incredulous, in every sense of the word, but curiously warm and gentle asking questions about the "the final battle between intelligence and stupidity that will decide the future of humanity."

In Larry Charles' words, the situation confronted is like this: "An old God, a very buff old God that lives in space decides to create the first man from earth dust, then makes a woman from that man's rib. They get to live forever if they don't eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge, but the woman is tricked into eating a piece by a talking snake and all future humanity is cursed." And that, of course, is just the basic tenet of one religion. Discuss.

Maher goes on in his polite crusade to dissect some of the similar Star Wars/Disney scenarios in Scientology, Mormonism, among Orthodox Jews and televangelists. All interviews are interesting, but some are amazing and memorable. Father Reginald Foster - a senior Vatican scholar, principal Latinist for the Pope - will stun you as he agrees with Maher on some points. There is unexpected goodwill and kindness from a group of evangelists "attacked" by Maher; they pray for him, and really mean it.

You may have chills running down your back as you listen to Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), sitting in his Capitol office, speaking about his belief in Creationism and the literal interpretation of the Bible. You don't need to be a Christian to be offended (and amused) by the commercial Jesus impersonators Maher interviews, and you may feel a bit sorry for the Pentecostals speaking in tongues. (Gov. Palin and John Ashcroft, neither featured in "Religulous," are members of that church.)

After comedy, irony, and sarcasm, Maher turns serious at the end of the film, and asks with deep concern if the future of the world can be entrusted to the many varieties of believers in the unreal, the illogical, the incongruous, the phantasmagorical. Looks like we are well on our way to that eventuality.


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