Subject: My list of TOP RECOVERY MOVIES
Date: Nov 21, 2007
Author: Deconstructor

We have Thanksgiving coming up, so here's a list of movies to rent with recovery from Mormonism themes.

(in no particular order)

- The Matrix
Great parallels to the Mormon control freaks and the invisible prison. Morpheus with the choice pills has a chilling resemblance to leaving Mormonism. Except the real world outside is better than life on the inside of the Mormon matrix.

- Brazil
One man's journey in a world controlled by bureaucracy. Watching it gives me the same dark feeling I got sitting in sacrament meeting. Robert Deniro strikes out against the bureaucratic headquarters that is reminiscent of the Church Office Building.

- Pleasantville
Full of analogies that apply to the evils of Mormonism and the struggles for recovery.

- The Wizard of Oz
Incredible analogy to Mormonism. The scene where they discover the wizard is a hoax is priceless! My favorite line is "Don't pay any attention to that man behind the curtain!" Great for kids and has deep meanings for adults.

- The Last Valley
Starring Michael Cain, this is about the Protestant/Catholic conflict of the 16th century. I've seen this movie at least a dozen times. Always gives me chills and reaffirms my recovery from Mormonism. It brings the evils and superstitions of organized religion to the surface. The whole thing is a great analogy to Mormonism.

- Heaven Help Us
Cheesy 80's teen flick, but also covers the repression of organized religion. The priest's blood-wrenching sermon at the beginning of a church dance against immorality is a classic.

- A Man for All Seasons
The story of one man's stand against religious and social corruption. This will touch the heart of any exmo as you see this character suffer for his integrity to the truth. An inspiration to us all, even though he loses his head.

- The Crucible
Scary analogy of how non-believers can manipulate the flock. Contains great analogies to Mormon thinking (and the lack thereof). Homosexuals will especially relate to the witch-hunt mentality that is so analogous to Mormonism.

- Ants
Not just for kids, this movie explores allegories related to recovery from Mormonism, especially the struggle between the individual and the group. You'll see the Church is like the ant colony and our hero is the exmo who decides to leave and find himself.

- Inherit The Wind
I prefer the original 50's version, but even the 1999 remake tells the story well. Contains some of the best arguments against superstition. As a recovering Mormon you may find it inspiring.

- Mass Appeal
Obscure movie from 1984, starring Jack Lemmon. It depicts one idealistic Catholic apprentice priest's experience with a repressive religious institution. It speaks volumes about how church leadership treats the flock and homosexuals. Although the story takes place in the Catholic church, it easily applies to Mormonism. I love this movie, but it's hard to find.

- The Truman Show
This baby is a real gem. After five minutes you'll forget that it's Jim Carrey and start relating it to your own life in the fishbowl of Mormonism. Great analogies all the way through, especially the ending when Truman "recovers" from the hoax.

- Malcom X
Denzel Washington pulls off a stunning performance as Malcom X, especially the disillusionment Malcom suffered when he learns that his living prophet was a sex fiend fraud - a haunting reminder of Joseph Smith. Very analogous to Mormonism, especially the group-think and recovery journey Malcom has to face when he learns the truth about his Church. ExMos will relate to the sense of betrayal and loneliness.

- Life of Brian
Just when you thought recovery was serious, the Monty Python crew do a hilarious spoof of religion and superstition. You'll totally relate to this movie and laugh at all the things that smack of Mormonism.

- Animal Farm
The cartoon is good, but the recent live version with Patrick Stewart as the pig leader is better. This has serious political themes, but also portrays many of the disinformation techniques of the Mormon Church. You'll also relate to the many examples of hypocrisy and pyramid leadership that have their Mormon equivalents.

- Stalin
Robert Duvall as Joseph Stalin, this movie explores the dangers of leader-worship. You'll never look at the GAs or other church leaders the same after watching this. Contains many parallels to Mormon thinking, Mormon leadership and the fear techniques leaders use control the masses.

- Elmer Gantry
Burt Lancaster plays a likable evangelistic con man, much like Joseph Smith.

- Zardos
Actually, I hated the movie except for the first 15 minutes when the Zardos head brings commandments and guns to his followers. Once Sean Connery sneaks onto the floating head and shoots the con man, it's boring. Way too long and way too Seventies, but it does have some recovery from religion themes.

- The Stepford Wives
The original 70's version is Julie Beck's dream world. All the husbands in a homely New Englad town have perfect wives in every way. But there's something sinister going on and one woman who has moved from the city is trying to figure it out. A Cult classic and way too reminiscent of Mormonism's patriarchal order and pressure on female "domestic perfection."

- Logan's Run
Another Seventies cult classic with strong recovery parallels. The story revolves around a society that holds a ceremonial death ritual for all citizens who reach the age of 30. Logan is a "sandman," one who enforces this radical method of population control. But Logan is about to turn 30 and discovers that the ceremonial ritual is a fraud. So Logan goes on his own "run" from the society, while his former sandman partner is determined to terminate Logan's disbelief and rebellion.

- Goodbye, Lenin
Recommended by Bob MccCue, who said it was "a must see for anyone interested in the effect of ideological gaps, and the kind of loss family members can experience as a result of not being able to push through fear." I found it rivetting.

- Kinsey
It is perhaps a less obvious choice, but highly applicable just the same. Sexual repression is one of the most damaging aspects of Mormonism, and one of the saddest in terms of the amazing joys people have the potential to experience. The whole movie is about fighting sexual repression which is a journey many Mormons take on the way out.

- The Village
It's a perfect analogy for Mormonism. Manipulation of information, using a fairy tale to control the younger population, secret knowledge, special garments--parallels galore.

- Frailty
For the horror flick fans, this is a disturbing horror film about an FBI agent tracking down "God's Hand," a notorious murderer who's resurfaced years after terrorizing a town. A father (Bill Paxton) uses divine revelation to justify all kinds of abuse. It's a disturbing look into one man's deep-seeded religious beliefs and the question of how we can be sure we are right.

Any other movies that helped in your recovery?


Subject: Re: My list of TOP RECOVERY MOVIES
Date: Nov 21 06:35
Author: Just wondering 1

This is a top list. I presenting myself with a challenge:
I'm going to print off this list and watch every movie on it, ticking them off as I go....

Could we add "Happy Feet" (breaking free of mob mentality- one of the old penguins looks like Monson!) and the "Star Wars" series? You know, seduced by the dark side and eventually mastering our fears and conquering it?

I reckon GBH looks a bit like the evil emperor too!


Subject: Fascinating post!
Date: Nov 21 08:25
Author: Nebularry

We so often list or discuss books that have been helpful, it's enlightening to have a list of movies, too. I'm not much of a film fan so I've only seen a couple of your selections. But one movie I think everyone has seen at least once is "The Wizard of Oz". It is by far the most obvious analogy to Mormonism. I'll have to start checking out others you've listed.


Subject: Glad you got "The Truman Show"
Date: Nov 21 08:45
Author: transplanted

That movie is a MUST SEE for anyone with questions about the church and it's culture/societal pressure.

This is a great list, now I have some suggestions for when I go to Blockbuster after work today to get some viewing for the long weekend!



Subject: More movies too see......
Date: Nov 21 10:06
Author: Texas Salamander

The Island:

I think it is a remake. There are lots of parallels with going to the "Island" and going to the Celestial Kingdom. The people dress in stupid temple-like white jumpsuits, The people are kept in a childlike state; and in the end those that go to the "Island" are having their body parts harvested. The hero 'feels' that something is not right and starts to question his surroundings......

V for Vendetta:

This one is made my the same guys that made the "Matrix". The Guy Fawkes' mask thing is annoying. The movie portrays how governments/organizations controls the media, and personal morals; while they hide their history, and spy on regular people. The hero "V" sets things in motion so that others can "wake-up" from their mental slumber. Its like 1984 meets Bruce Lee.

Texas Salamander


Subject: I'll Add . . .
Date: Nov 21 10:15
Author: SL Cabbie

"Little Big Man" with Dusin Hoffman as Jack Crabb, the 103-year old last survivor of Custer's Battle of the the Little Bighorn . . .

No other movie I've seen has effectively smashed stereotypes for me as well as this one . . .


Subject: I agree, and add a couple more
Date: Nov 21 11:16
Author: Richard the Bad

And Chief Dan George is one of my favorite actors.

I'll add "The Gods must be crazy", and "At play in the fields of the Lord".

Mostly just because they also make you question the way you view the world, and the people in it. Yes, I took way to much Cultural Anthropology when I was in college.


Subject: Re: My list of TOP RECOVERY MOVIES
Date: Nov 21 10:30
Author: anoymous nom
Mail Address:  

Inherit the Wind has been one of my top 10 movies since I was 16 and TBM. It gave me a lot of cog-dis liking that movie. Good suggestions! The village is a good parallel, but it is overall not a very exciting or surprising movie. I think it was marketed poorly, as a shocking, scary horror movie, when that's not what it was. Strangely enough, my TBM aunt was going on and how great the allegory is. I wonder what she saw in it?


Subject: It's like Neil Young said one time
Date: Nov 21 13:00
Author: Steve

when asked about what one of his songs "meant."

He replied, "it doesn't matter what it meant to me, once I recorded it, it matters what it means to YOU."


Subject: Re: My list of TOP RECOVERY MOVIES
Date: Nov 21 10:46
Author: Jimmy Rainbow

Great thread. Great movies and like some others here, there are some I have yet to see that are now on a list. I relate to The Truman Show and had already, like many others, referenced The Matrix as the epitome of Mormonism.

Who knew?


Subject: For women, there's another recovery: Empowerment.
Date: Nov 21 11:35
Author: Jenny

I loved your list and found some that really struck a chord because they helped me.

But as a woman who, when facing divorce, couldn't see anything but welfare in the future, living a life that "stuck it to the man" was a new experience. Seeing myself putting together a career where I could someday make six-figures with a retirement plan and a 401(k) -- or 403(b) in my non-profit career case! -- was not viable in the beginning.

A couple of movies were somewhat cathartic for me in the beginning. I loved "Third Wives Club" because they were divorcing and going on their own and moved into lived and found strengths they had never imagined.

"Liar, Liar" was also hilariously sad and eye-opening.

Strangely, "Lion King" by Disney was also weirdly inspirational.

I think men and women alike have a sense of striking off into the wilderness alone when leaving the church. But women who have stayed at home with children and are looking at the need to start making a living or helping support their family are especially ill-equipped...even with a degree. Add divorce and the formula for recovery becomes more complex.


Subject: Re: My list of TOP RECOVERY MOVIES
Date: Nov 21 11:53
Author: KolobSlurm

- The Jazz Singer
Amazing parallels between leaving the Jewish faith and Mormonism.

- Dogma
If God really exists, She must be a lot like Alanis Morissette.


Subject: Great list - I would add "Chocolat"


Subject: All of the above plus ...
Date: Nov 21 15:23
Author: tupelo honey

Waking Life
American Beauty
Requiem for a Dream
Being John Malcovich
The Stranger
The Trial
Deconstructing Harry
Garden State
What the Bleep do we know
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
I Heart Huckabees
Fight Club

All deal with an awakening so to speak and an existential freedom


Subject: Re: My list of TOP RECOVERY MOVIES
Date: Nov 21 16:01
Author: Smiling Dog

Dead Poets Society
V for Vendetta
Fight Club

Anything with a "Man vs. The Institution" theme...

All movies listed in this thread are great...


Subject: Luther, the story of Martin Luther......
Date: Nov 21 17:23
Author: Traveller

and his discovery of the corrupt Catholic Church.

Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

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