Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Collision of Law, Religion and Film.

This week a public law school professor contacted me for a recommendation about a film depicting a collision between law and religion.

He explained that he was designing a course on legal themes in film, which would focus on the accommodation of religious beliefs. He wrote: "the ideal would be something where a person has religious beliefs that conflict with the general legal requirements that apply to everyone else, and so there's a legal dispute about whether there should be special accommodation made for the person's beliefs." He indicated he experienced difficulty, if not futility, in finding a good example, and solicited my input (after his research landed him at my blog).

After some thought, I suggested The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which I reviewed here on September 13, 2005. Directed by my college buddy Scott Derrickson (who also directed the very recent The Day The Earth Stood Still), Emily Rose came out in 2005, and starred Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson. It dealt with a collision of criminal law and religious practice. It concerned a criminal prosecution of a priest who conducted a religious ritual that lead to a death.

He then indicated Emily Rose was precisely what he was looking for. If anyone has any other suggestions, please put in the comments below, and I will forward appropriate ones to him.


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