Are we alone in the world? Or is there someone who is keeping a constant vigil upon us? Is there a creator who has made us? These are questions mankind has pondered over for thousands of years. When the human race was in a very primitive age, the phenomena of wind, rain, snow, water, and others were matters of great wonder and perplexity. This made human beings fear nature and grow respect for her. Mankind started to believe that there was a higher power which controlled all these things, or all these things were higher powers in themselves. This led man to show respect towards nature and started giving offerings to her, which eventually to the formation of primitive pagan religions where elements like fire, water, earth, and air were worshipped. Slowly and steadily, man started to create myths and stories about natural phenomena, even giving them human forms. As human society developed, these pagan religions eroded away, giving birth to new forms of faiths.
Religion has always been a subject of fascination for numerous filmmakers. Over the years, we’ve seen several movies exploring the concept, ideas and philosophy of religion in many different ways. But only a few have managed to capture the essence of the subject and they are widely considered classics of their times. With all that said, here’s the list of really good religious documentary movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now.
7. Witches: A Century of Murder (2015)
It is true that belief and faith help a man through troubled times, but when taken to the extreme, faith turns to blind faith and that causes all sorts of problems. This documentary explores that side of the human psyche. Around 400 years ago, a sort of mania swept across Britain. It was widely believed that hundreds of people, mostly women, were indulging in witchcraft. Though there was no material proof found, just the belief which was held by many was enough to prosecute them, and most of these victims of witch hunt were given death sentences.
The series is divided into two parts — the first part talks about these witch-hunts across Britain, Denmark, and Scotland. Presenter Suzannah Lipscomb shares the story of the brutal Pendle witch trials wherein many women were given death sentences. This happened during the rule of King James I. The second part is more interesting. Here we come to know about a character called Matthew Hopkins. Hopkins saw that this mass hysteria regarding witches and witchcraft was an opportune moment for him to make some money. Thus, he decided to serve as a killer of witches and named himself Witchfinder General. He traveled throughout the British Empire killing numerous women and then asking for payment for his services. Later, we come to know how this hysteria slowly began to take over America on the other side of the Atlantic.
6. My Scientology Movie (2015)