documentaries are different than when i learned to love them. the fly-on-the-wall documentary is basically dead at this point, having been replaced by the visual essay of michael moore, anti-bush amateurs, and various other people with an agenda. i prefer the maysles brothers style of exploration and reportage instead of the point-of-view film. most of them seem to come from the left, but there are some (like ben stein’s “expelled” documentary) that come from the right. regardless of their author, these types of documentaries have a singular point of view and impose it throughout the film. religulous falls into this category.
bill maher happens to be funny and i agree with his point that we can’t really know if there’s a god and what he says or wants from us. however, maher’s biggest fault here is that there is only one type of religion to him – fundamentalism. he doesn’t acknowledge the reality that there are some who practice religions of various kinds in peaceful and fairly intelligent ways. the times he does encounter people who choose to ignore many of the ridiculous elements of their religion he challenges their religion anyway, saying it’s impossible to separate the good ideals of a religion from many of the contradictory or silly stories that accompany it. i respect his doubt and wit, but we have to acknowledge and respect the choice of others to believe in the god of their choosing.Watched in theater