November 26, 2009

Movie Review: Oh My God

Reminiscent of One: The MovieOh My God combines interviews with a wide range of individuals around a central theme. In this case, it’s a deceptively simple question: What is God? Filmmaker Peter Rodger travels the world asking people that same question.  Their answers range from the sublime and insightful to the outrageous and uncomfortable.

Rodger asks people from all walks of life; from the famous: Ringo Starr, Hugh Jackman, David Copperfield and others to people he met randomly in the streets of his travels.  Individuals from nearly every faith: Shaman, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, even Buddhist, are represented here and Rodger also includes atheists and agnostics alongside children and the elderly, men and women in this film.

The result is an incredibly thought-provoking film examining a central question of our very existence.  One common view emerges through the film: when religion and power mix, the message gets lost.  This is reinforced in a particularly poignant scene that takes place in the Holy Land between an Orthodox Rabbi and a Muslim community leader who embrace after observing that “God is in the space between us.”

Shot in locations ranging from New Orleans to Texas to India, Italy, Australia, Kenya and more (23 countries total), the film is as visually appealing as it is intellectually stimulating.  Far from a “Wow, God is pretty great, isn’t He? type of film, Rodger asks some questions that seem to be rather critical of God and faith in general, which only adds to the appeal of the film, assigning God the role of scapegoat as one of His four central roles in human lives, and examining religion as a business looking to propagate itself at the expense of its “customer base.”

Unrated, Oh My God is not a film for children, with some strong images (one scene of animal death) and potentially uncomfortable (for adults) subject matter.  Regardless of faith (or lack thereof) Oh My God is a film that will leave viewers wanting to talk and even better, it will leave them thinking.  Oh My God opens this weekend at the Chez Artiste in Denver.  For information on other locations, head on over to the Oh My God website.

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