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Religulous


None February 5th, 2009

religulous

2008

I'm not a fan of Bill Maher, but I very much rooted for him throughout "Religulous," a ballsy and very funny documentary directed by "Borat"'s Larry Charles. A product of a Catholic/Jew household, Maher is a nonbeliever today, but travels the world to find out why people believe what they believe "” in particular, how otherwise perfectly rational people can buy in to a single idea he sees as supernatural.

He poses his questions to various groups and lets them answer "¦ only their answers don't really answer his questions, which is exactly the point. But Maher's main problem is why people worship, but how religions do more harm than good, he argues. Yes, they may offer a person comfort, but they also put countries at war. He talks to more than extremist "” Christian and Muslim "” who sees nothing wrong with the deaths of innocents in the name of his god.

Whether you agree or disagree, the discourse is fascinating. Personally, I think he makes some valid points, but gets awfully heavy-handed in the final scene. Maher's argument is a little too either/or, as if he's unwilling to see a middle ground. For instance, if religions could get along with no strife, would he still call for their abolition?

The big draw of the bonus features is the handful of delete scenes featuring interviews absent from the final cut. I could use a little less of the guy who thinks President Bush to be a reptilian being, and a lot more of the polygamist wives.

"”Rod Lott

 
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