Films & Schedules

  • Religulous

  • Larry Charles

English, Hebrew, Arabic, Farsi, Spanish
101 minutes

Production Company:
Thousand Words/Bill Maher Productions
Executive Producer:
Charlie Siskel
Palmer West, Jonah Smith
Written By:
Bill Maher
Anthony Hardwick
Jeffrey M. Werner, Jeff Groth, Christian Kinnard
Geoff Rubay, Jason George
Principal Cast: Bill Maher

Canadian Distributor:
TVA Films
US Distributor:
International Sales Agent:
IM Global

TIFF Tags: Documentary 

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Designed (with glee!) to polarize and unsettle, Religulous takes on the last sacred cow in American society, and everything else that symbolizes organized religion. The title is a mash-up of religious and ridiculous, and the aim is to take a hammer of hard skepticism to the gossamer vault of faith. Because the men wielding that hammer are Bill Maher and Larry Charles, the result is hilarious.

Maher is already a prominent troublemaker, well-known for his political humour on television (from Politically Incorrect and Real Time with Bill Maher) and in print (New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer). This is the first time he has been the subject of a feature-length documentary. Charles, first celebrated for writing episodes of Seinfeld now makes his follow-up to the spectacularly successful Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. United in heresy, these two men continue their practice of making hysterically scathing social critiques disguised as popular entertainment.

Maher criss-crosses the globe, travelling from Jerusalem to Vatican City to Salt Lake City, interviewing people about God and their own beliefs. In typical Maher fashion, the man does not hold back, and his irreverent wit and blinding logic produce wild reactions from representatives of nearly every major faith. How could the universe have been created only four thousand years ago? What explains bad things happening to good people? What's with all the beards?

The team of Maher and Charles works as beautifully as God and Moses, laying down tough questions and wicked satire on what remains the world's most controversial topic. When this taboo subject inevitably collides with political views, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between lighthearted comedy and sober sincerity. In the end, no one is safe and certainly nothing is sacred. Catholics, Protestants, Hasidic Jews, Jews for Jesus, Jesus impersonators, Scientologists, Muslims, Satanists, creationists or anyone who believes in anything: brace yourselves for the unstoppable wrath of Charles and Maher.

Cameron Bailey

Larry Charles
Larry Charles was born in Brooklyn and performed as a stand-up comedian in the seventies. He has served as writer, producer and/or director on many successful television series, including Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mad About You, Dilbert and Entourage. He made his feature filmmaking debut with 2003's Masked and Anonymous, which was co-written by Bob Dylan, and directed Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan in 2006. Religulous (08) is his latest feature.

Cadillac People's Choice Award