Nominee: 'Oh My God'
Fed up with religions battling each other over the idea that "my God is better than your God," filmmaker Peter Rodger traveled the globe asking celebrities, religious leaders, and ordinary people the simple, yet provocative question, "What is God?" in his new documentary, "Oh My God."
Filmed over three years and in 23 countries, the images he captured—the landscapes, the people—are breathtaking. Musician Seal, who sees God in his family and people in general, says, "God is everywhere, showing us confirmation of its existence." This idea is given more elaboration as we take in the beautifully diverse people and places Rodger presents to us.
Interestingly, many of the the people he spoke with revealed not only a belief in God, but an acknowledgement that their God was the same God worshiped by those of different faiths. A few outspoken interviewees did not feel this way--such as evangelical Christian pastor Dr. Tim LaHaye who said he believed the Qu'ran was written by the Devil, and a Muslim who believed that Christians and Jews were going to hell.
Of course, some detractors didn't see belief in God as a positive. Sir Bob Geldof, an atheist, criticized "believing in God" as "an impediment to life," and a young Mexican man opined that God is used to control people: "God is like a business. God is money."
Rodger periodically inserts his own thoughts and questions into the film. One of the issues he tries to tackle is why God—any God—would allow suffering. And he takes us to a number of places where suffering is evident—including New Orleans post-Katrina and a children's cancer hospital.
Although Rodger lets us draw our own conclusions to the big God question, many of those he spoke with, such as Ringo Starr, stated emphatically that "God is love." And, as universal definitions go, that's not a bad one.