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Religious Studies of Movies Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Nov 28th, 2019


This movie was produced in 1982 and stars Ben Kingsley, Martin Sheen, Roshan Seth, Trevor Howard, and Rohini Hattangady (Powers par1). It won six Academy Awards for its excellent depiction of the life of Mahatma Gandhi. In the movie, Gandhi shows concern by fighting for the rights of the oppressed in South Africa. In all activities, he upholds the religious precepts of equality, peace, love, freedom, and justice (Powers par4).

In the film, he organizes peaceful demonstrations in order to fight the oppressive rule of colonialists. Police assault him severally in efforts to suppress his activities. However, Gandhi does not give up. His efforts bear fruits when he spearheads the formation of communal villages where poor people live in peace and harmony.

There is excellent depiction of Gandhi’s efforts to end the rift between the Hindu majority and the Muslim minority in India. He works hard to eradicate sectarian conflicts between Muslims and Hindus. His efforts are commendable because peace is one of the most important requirements of religious cohesion. He successfully brings peace to warring groups through a hunger strike. His persistence enables him to achieve religious and social goals.

One of his goals is to improve the welfare of the oppressed through promotion of religious precepts. Gandhi promotes his belief in non-violent civil disobedience as a means of obtaining justice, peace, equality, and freedom (Powers par6). The spirituality of Gandhi forms the foundation of all his achievements in South Africa and India. His faith and spirituality enable him to overcome the oppressive regime of British colonialists. The predominant themes in the film include peace, love, justice, and equity.

The Ten Commandments

The movie “Ten Commandments” was produced by Cecil DeMille in 1956. It explores the life of Moses who frees the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. It stars Charlton Heston, Anne Baxter, Yul Brynner, Yvonne De Carlo, and Edward Robinson (TCM par1). It was chosen as one of the most historically and aesthetically significant movies.

The film is excellent because of its message and depiction of God’s relationship with man. There are many religious lessons that viewers can learn from the film. For example, it teaches the value of humility, and reveals that God guides the people whom he calls to do his work. Freedom from bondage for Israelites is a significant occurrence for Christians.

It signifies the power of God over all human beings. The film aligns the lives and tribulations of the Egyptians to the lives and troubles of Christians today. It presents the events as depicted in the Bible in a way that is easy to understand. It perfectly presents the change of attitude by Moses. He first detested the Hebrew God for bringing Israelites into slavery under the rule of Egyptians. However, his attitude changes when he encounters God, and after Israelites are delivered from bondage (TCM par3).

The most spiritual aspects of the film emerge after Moses encounters God. The film also shows the power of faith in God, as well as the importance of faith to human beings. Religious themes such as faith, suffering, God’s power, prayers, and trust are well developed in the movie through the events that take place. The movie teaches that the God who saved the Israelites from bondage is the same God that works in people’s lives today. The theme of the importance of faith and trust in God is dominant in the film.

The apostle

This movie was produced in 2007 by Robert Duvall and stars John Beasley, June Carter Cash, Billy Joe shaver, and Miranda Richardson (Gilman par1). It explores the religious themes of sin, worship, repentance, and conversion. The story explored in the film bases on the life of Sonny who undergoes conversion after committing murder (Gilman par2).

After eviction from his church, Sonny undergoes conversion and starts a church. However, his sinful past comes back to haunt him. The spiritual journey of Sonny is a source of inspiration for people of all religions. Initially, his faith is depicted as self-centered and superficial.

His religion comprises mere excitement from situations and people, thus making it shallow. However, after failing and losing his possessions, he finds his way to Christ (Gilman par3). After accepting Christ, his ministry focuses on promoting Christian teachings. The film teaches the importance of God’s forgiveness because even after killing Horace, he rebaptizes himself and becomes an apostle. He successfully starts a new church that attracts many followers.

His efforts of converting people to God come into fruition when he converts Thornton, a racist construction worker. The film has several teachings that are important to the lives of religious people. These include the ability to change from evil ways to good ways, the efficacy of conversion, the importance of forgiveness, and the significance of worship. In addition, the film shows a thought-provoking progression of events that explores the coexistence of faith with sin.

The life of Duvall is a perfect revelation of the struggles that many people undergo in order to attain religious redemption (Gilman par6). The movie has many teachings and lessons for viewers. It explores the consequences of moral and spiritual bankruptcy. The life of Duvall correlates with the biblical description of religious ministers, and shows how possible it is for an individual to deviate from a good spiritual life.

The messenger

Mark Gordon, Lawrence Inglee, and Zach Miller produced this movie in 2009 (Scott par2). It stars Ben Foster, Jena Malone, Woody Harrelson, and Steve Buscemi. The film revolves around the life of Montgomery who returns home after fighting in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (Scott par2). He is assigned the role of a casualty notification officer because of his many years of service in the military. His partner is a recovering alcoholic.

Montgomery encounters an ethical dilemma when he becomes attracted to Olivia, wife to one of the killed soldiers. The film explores the negative effects of war. The war has divided people into two groups: people who have been affected by the war and people who have not been affected. The job assigned to Montgomery is difficult because of the different reactions of the families of victims. Anger, denial, and anguish are examples of emotions explored in the film.

The expression of gratitude and compassion by some people is commendable. The viewer is made to develop compassion for the families of soldiers who die in the war. On the other hand, the effects of the war are explored. The war has divided families, friends, and lovers. Communication is strained between colleagues, lovers, and family members because they cannot talk about their experiences regarding the war (Scott par4).

The theme of war explored in the movie is also explored in the Bible’s Old Testament. The theme establishes a connection between the film and the Old Testament. The war in Iraq causes a lot of suffering, agony, and anguish to the family of soldiers who die in the war. The film elicits feelings of compassion and gratitude in the viewer: gratitude for soldiers who take part in the war and compassion for the families of soldiers who die in the battlefield.

Andrei Rublev

The movie “Andrei Rublev” was produced by Andrei Tarkovsky in 1971. It stars Anatoly Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Irma Raush, Nikolai Sergeyev, and Nikolai Burlyayev (Savio 65). The film explores the life of Andrei Rublev, an ancient Russian painter. It also depicts Christianity as the foundation of Russia’s history. Art and faith are two of the most important themes in the film. There is depiction of the religious concept of trinity.

Common themes include wrath, retribution, compassion, and mediation. These themes are common to the trinity as depicted in the Bible. Wrath and retribution are common traits of the father while mediation and compassion are attributed to the son. The Holy Spirit acts as the mediator between the people and the father. The film also presents a Christian view of the role that art plays in the expression of religious epiphany (Savio 67).

There is excellent depiction of good, evil, kindness, and death in the film. These themes are synonymous with religion. The film also explores the lives of monks. In religion, monks live lives that are characterized by prayers, meditation, and deep spirituality. Rublev uses art to express religious themes of love and unity. The film includes depiction of religious characters from the Old Testament.

For example, Rublev is presented as an Old Testament prophet (Savio 68). This is evident from his dressing and teachings that include ideologies of retribution and wrath. In religion, art is used to express human divinity. The theme of human divinity is well developed in Rublev’s artwork. The artwork successfully expresses the religious belief that humans are representations of God. The film explores various religious themes. However, it is a bit complicated and not easy to understand.

Works Cited

Gilman, Mark. . n.d. Web.

Powers, Mike. Gandhi (Movie Review). 11 April. 2010. Web.

Savio, Nigel. Andrei Rublev: Religious Epiphany in Art. Journal of Religion & Film 3.2 (1999): 65-71. Print.

Scott, Anthony. (2009). 12 Nov. 2009. Web.

TCM: . n.d. Web.

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