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Religion in movies

We put together a few films whose central motif is a religious theme or religion is the general topic.

Menashe (2017)
Josua Weinstein
United States
82′
Within Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish community, a widower battles for custody of his son. A tender drama performed entirely in Yiddish, the film intimately explores the nature of faith and the price of parenthood.
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God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya (2019)
Teona Strugar Mitevska
North Macedonia
100′
Tell them you’re 24’, advises Petrunya’s mother as her daughter heads off to another interview. But Petrunya is 31; moreover, she has studied history, a subject that no one in Macedonia seems to need. So there she sits in front of her potential employer, a factory owner, who looks down on her floral dress and refuses to take her seriously. On her way home - naturally, she did not get the job - Petrunya decides to take the plunge. It is Epiphany and, like every year, the young men of the city are diving for the holy cross that the priest has thrown into the icy river. This time, Petrunya is quicker than everyone else and ends up holding the trophy aloft for the TV cameras. For one whole day and one night, she will defend the cross, accompanied by much public commotion and against the closed ranks of the male world. Teona Strugar Mitevska delivers an angry yet melancholic satire that questions the status of democratic change in Macedonian society and passes scathing judgement on representatives of the church, the judiciary and the media. The film’s sympathies are all with the determined woman who asserts herself against archaic traditions and paralysing opportunism.
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On the Path (2010)
Jasmila Zbanic
Bosnia and Herzegovina
100′
Luna and Amar are a couple. Their relationship is under great strain. First of all, Amar loses his job for being drunk at work. Luna is very worried and has little hope of realising her fragile dream of having a child with Amar. But her fears for their future increase when Amar takes on a well-paid job in a Muslim community hours away from where they live.Only after quite some time has elapsed during which they have had no contact with each other, is Luna allowed to visit Amar in this community of conservative Wahhabis in its idyllic lakeside location. She notices that the men and veiled women live in strict segregation and are closely watched. Luna asks Amar to return home with her but Amar insists that life in this isolated community of faithful followers has brought him peace and also keeps him from drinking. When he returns home a few weeks later, Luna realises that Amar’s attitude to religion has fundamentally changed. Amar claims that his only interest is to become a better person, but Luna finds it extremely difficult to follow his line of thinking. She begins to question everything that she has believed in, even her desire to have a child. As the wounds of a tragic war-filled past continue to haunt her, Luna tears herself apart searching if love is truly enough to keep her and Amar together on the path to a lifetime of happiness.
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Ohne diese Welt (2017)
Nora Fingscheidt
Germany
115′
Argentina in 2016: in a remote region in the north of the country live about 700 Mennonites from Germany as in the 18th century. They speak old German and live from agriculture and cattle breeding. But is it really possible to refuse development?
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Grâce à dieu (2019)
François Ozon
France
138′
Alexandre lives in Lyon with his wife and children. One day, he discovered by chance that the priest who abused him to scouts always officiates with children. He then starts a fight, quickly joined by François and Emmanuel, also victims of the priest, to "release their word" on what they suffered.
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You Will Die At 20 (2019)
Amjad Abu Alala
Sudan
102′
Sudan, province of Aljazira, nowadays - When Muzamil was born, a prophecy by the holy man of the village predicts that he will die when he is 20 years old. Muzamil’s father cannot stand the doom and travels away from home. Sakina, as a single mother, raises her son with over protection. One day, Muzamil turns 19.
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The Wild Pear Tree (2018)
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Turkey
188′
Sinan is passionate about literature and has always wanted to be a writer. Returning to the village where he was born, he pours his heart and soul into scraping together the money he needs to be published, but his father’s debts catch up with him.
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Cinco dias sin Nora (2009)
Mariana Chenillo
Mexico
92′
Before dying, Nora devises a plan to make José, ex-husband, take care of her funeral. But she misses something-the only flaw in the plan, a mysterious photograph left under the bed, will lead to an unexpected outcome that will remind us that sometimes the greatest love stories are hidden in the smallest places.
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Ajami (2009)
Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani
Israel
120′
Jaffa’s Ajami neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures and conflicting views among jews, muslims and christians. Back and forth in time, and through the eyes of various characters, we witness how impossible the situation actually is …
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A Separation (2011)
Asghar Farhadi
Iran
123′
Simin wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader and daughter Termeh. She has already made all the necessary arrangements. Nader, however, is having second thoughts. He is worried about leaving behind his father, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. For this reason he decides to call off the trip altogether. As a result of Nader’s decision, Simin decides to sue for divorce at the family court. When her request is rejected, however, she refuses to live with Nader, moving instead into her parents’ home. Termeh decides to stay with her father, hoping that her mother will soon come back to live with them.Nader finds it difficult to cope with the new situation - not least because it turns out to be so time-consuming. And so he hires a young woman named Razieh to look after his father. This young woman is pregnant and has accepted the job without her husband’s knowledge. One day, Nader arrives home to find that not only has his father been left alone, he has also been tied to a table! When Razieh returns, a blazing row ensues, the tragic consequences of which not only shatter Nader’s life, but also the image his daughter Termeh has of her father.
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Corpus Christi (2019)
Jan Komasa
Poland
115′
A pious 20-year-old juvenile delinquent is sent to work at a sawmill in a small town; on arrival, he dresses up as a priest and accidentally takes over the local parish. The arrival of this young, charismatic preacher is an opportunity for the local community to begin the healing process after a tragedy that happened a year prior.
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Zen For Nothing (2015)
Werner Penzel
Germany
100′
Hidden in the mountains on the west coast of Japan lies the small Zen monastery Antaiji. A young woman sets off from autumn to spring to immerse herself in the adventure of monastic life. The young woman is Sabine Timoteo from Bern. The abbot of the monastery is Muho Nölke, born in Berlin ("Zazen oder Der Weg zum Glück").
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