devotion in movies

This is kind of a warm-up post for something I’m planning for next week… more to come then. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite devotional moments in cinema – I’d love to hear about yours!

“O Paalanhaare”, from Lagaan. The scenario – the people of a village in Colonial India are in danger of losing everything they have if they lose a cricket match against the villainous British governor. I know that sounds a little goofy, but it’s really not – it’s a great movie.

“Sabbath Prayer”, from Fiddler on the Roof. Beyond that fact that it’s just a great song in a great show, I love this scene because of the closing montage that powerfully conveys the feeling of religious community.

Maximus praying to his ancestors, from Gladiator. I could not find a clip of this scene online, and in fact I had a hard time even finding this screen shot… I may try to fix this tonight.

Maximus’ Ancestors

My Neighbor Totoro. Miyazaki Hayao’s movies are chock-full of great Shinto moments, but a particular favorite of mine (pair of favorites, actually) is in this movie… where the family first goes to the great camphor tree to ask the kami to watch over them, and again later when Satsuki goes back to pray for Mei’s safety. Again this is not the best image – I may try to capture better shots for both this and Gladiator this evening, and update the post then.

Totoro prayer


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