When it comes to revealing the beauty and mystery of the existence and the universe, movies hold a secret key to unlock cryptic answers. As a unique art form that deals with space and time, cinema has been exploring the haunting question of “Who am I?” for more than 100 years. Almost all the master filmmakers who took this path ended up in one abstract and intangible phenomenon that can be represented with the generic term, “spirituality.” Masters like Andrei Tarkovsky, Theo Angelopoulos, Béla Tarr, and Ingmar Bergman elevated their movies into deep meditations on humanity and its myriad spiritual ways of interacting with the universe. With all that said, here’s the list of really good spiritual movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now:
13. Layla M. (2016)
‘Layla M.’ is a Dutch movie that reveals a terrifying face of religion and spirituality. The plot follows 18-year-old Layla, a Dutch girl with Moroccan descent, who is irritated by the Islamophobia prevailing in the society. As an extreme response to the religious apartheid of the society, she marries a radical Islamist and moves to Syria with him. But her Utopian preoccupations about radical Islam soon turn upside down as she finds it extremely hard to adjust to the patriarchal value system that governs the society. Nora El Koussour plays the titular character of Layla in the movie. The film is directed by Mijke de Jong. ‘Layla M’ was the official entry of the Netherlands for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards.
12. Come Sunday (2018)
‘Come Sunday’ is a Netflix movie based on a part of the life of American Christian minister and former pastor Carlton Pearson. The plot follows the historic journey of Bishop Carlton Pearson who was a celebrity in the Pentecostal and Charismatic Christian communities. But when he took a wild turn towards the idea of “inclusion” and started preaching there is no hell, his own church declared him as a pariah. Despite the emotional and social ostracization, the Bishop continued preaching his message that “the hell is what humans create for themselves on earth, heaven is for all.”
Born in into the Pentecostal family and having preached the gospel for more than four decades, the new message was a revelation for Pearson. He was also known as a phenomenal orator and disciple of the late Oral Roberts, who is considered as the pioneer of televangelism. The ’90s witnessed Pearson’s meteoric rise to stardom. But in the early 2000s, he shook the foundations of his faith with the negation of hell. ‘Come Sunday’ focuses on Pearson’s rejection of Hell and the events that unfolded after that rather than chronicling the entire life of the controversial figure. Chiwetel Ejiofor portrays the central character of Carlton Pearson. The movie is directed by Joshua Marston from a screenplay written by Marcus Hinchey. The other cast includes Martin Sheen, Condola Rashad, Jason Segel, Danny Glover, and Lakeith Stanfield.