Spirituality in Films: A Sublime Combination

Films with a spiritual theme not only carry a spiritual message but are also tremendously entertaining and sometimes full of humor

​Films are made for entertainment. We all love to watch the characters, their stories, and their situation in the film. Many people would go to the films only to watch their favorite actor. Some are attracted to action movies while some are attracted to drama and some to comedy. Films become trendsetters for fashion. They also shape attitudes of the masses. And some films also pass on a spiritual message. Spiritual films are not films about spiritual masters like Jesus or the Buddha but about the teachings in real life.

Spiritual Films that Draw on Allegories and Symbolism

Some of the best spiritual films are based on extensive symbolism. There is a meaning to the names of the characters and a meaning to the actions and storyline which is akin to a spiritual search. Some of the best spiritual films of this type are The Matrix (Directed by the Wachowski Brothers in 1999) and The Holy Mountain (Directed by Alejandro Jodorowski in 1973).

Spiritual Films Adapted from Novels

A few of the spiritual classics have been made into movies which not only bring to life the characters in the story but also engulf the viewer in its message. These movies are best watched after reading the novel. Some of the most excellent spiritual films adapted from novels are Siddhartha (Directed by Conrad Rooks in 1972 based on the novel by Hermann Hesse) and The Razor’s Edge (Directed by John Byrum in 1984 based on the novel by Somerset Maugham)

Spiritual Films that Walk the Talk

There are some films which not only entertain or simply pass on a spiritual message through symbolism but also make you sit up and reflect on one’s position in life. These films have the potential to become a life changing event if the viewer has a spiritual inclination. The finest spiritual films of this type are The Truman Show (Directed by Peter Weir in 1998) and The Peaceful Warrior (Directed by Victor Salva in 2006).

Spiritual Films that cannot be Categorized

There are some films which are so extraordinarily beautiful that they cannot be classified in to any stereotype. These are the rarest of the rare films watching which is like having a spiritual experience. A couple of such unparalleled films are Waking Life (Directed by Richard Linklater in 2001) and Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (Directed by Yong-Kun Bae in 1989).

Watching spiritual films is a special treat because it combines entertainment and insight, not to forget humor as in I Heart Huckabees (Directed by David O. Russell in 2004)

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