These movies have themes or elements more or less related in some way to the Assembly experience - deception, hypocrisy, tyranny, abuse, spunk, goodness....but good movies in general help people who have been in tightly controlled aberrant groups get re-acculturated. It's been said that,"Movies are incredibly important in America. That's how people acquire information about the world. Movies create this web that texts formerly created." Movies also provide the metaphors of our culture.

1984   Control within utopia

16 Blocks    Doing the right thing in spite of the system. Marcia M. of Ottawa sums it up: "Bad cop Jack Mosley chooses to do the right thing, even to the extent of risking his own life, and expose the whole system that he has been party to for most of his career.

Amazing Grace    How to find purpose in life--know your own natural gifts, listen to your friends, ask God.

Animal Farm   Tyrannical control develops in utopia

The Apostle   Delusional preacher. Great psychological parallels with our own apostle.

At Play in the Fields of the Lord  "Sincere people create unwitting mischief so that evil people can have their way." - Roger Ebert

Babette's Feast   Generosity and joie de vivre break down dour austerity.

Blast from the Past   A guy born in a bomb shelter in his parents back yard in the days of cold war paranoia, comes out into the real world after 35 years. Heads up, AK's.

Catch Me If You Can   Charismatic con artist, based on true story

The Chair (Frank Piretti video)   Biblical insights presented in a one-man stage show

Chocolat   More to life than self-denial

Cinderella Man   The true story of a boxer who was a genuinely good man in the grim days of the Great Depression.

The Da Vinci Code   A central character agonizes as he is directed to do evil deeds by a high-ranking spiritual authority. The Silas character in this movie is a graphic illustration of the double bind in which Assembly leaders were entrapped. The acknowledged spiritual authority gave explicit orders or/and indirect expectations to treat people or issues in an unscriptural way. The consciences of some leaders became seared and desensitized, while others bore a hidden cilice in their souls for their actions and words.  Here is a Christian review.

Dead Poets Society   Carpe diem! And the tragic result if your life is controlled by someone else.

The Devil Wears Prada    A reviewer says, " If you have ever held an office job, you probably have encountered the "boss from hell" and Meryl Streep manages to make the character both amusing, scary and touching (sometimes simultaneously). She alone makes the film worth seeing." Not a great movie, but as the reviewer says, the character of Miranda Priestly (!) is worth seeing for former cult members. Read more comments here appropos cult leaders.

Elmer Gantry   Con-man preacher

Enough   Heroine has had enough abuse and fights back

Everybody Loves Raymond   TV series - Assembly-like family dynamics of favoritism and rejection

The Firm   Corruption at the heart of the system

Fireproof   Saving a marriage

Fried Green Tomatoes   Housewife finds meaning in life through meeting and helping an elderly woman. Relevance to Assembly wives in breaking out of limitations. Yes!!

Groundhog Day   Finding meaning in a life of endless repetition. The results are the opposite of what happened in the Assembly.

The Hiding Place   Forgiveness in impossible circumstances. Flora recommends the DVD with special features.

The Island   Fleeing the controlled utopian system

cultJoin Us,    a 2007 independent documentary, follows four families in real time as they leave their South Carolina Bible-based abusive church and are counseled by Dr. Paul Martin at Wellspring Retreat. This film won a Grand Jury prize at Sundance. "Better Felt than Telt" is how Dave Sable titles his movie review.

The Man Who Would Be King   Two guys con people into treating them as kings

The Manchurian Candidate   The mother, played by Meryl Streep in the 2004 version, is a case study in malignant narcissism.

The Matrix   Control in a utopian system. See reader's comments.

Million Dollar Baby   Controversial, but look for the love, and who has it - it's not the church leader

The Mission   Deeds of greed and acts of conscience

Ordinary People   Evil masked as normalcy and how it affects another person. The closing scene is creepily similar to GG.

The Prisoner   BBC Television series, 1967. The struggle to maintain individuality in a controlled society

Snow Falling on Cedars   Complex, moving film. One theme is doing the right thing when it is very hard, and suffering for it.

Star Trek: The Borg   Tremendous pressure to assimilate into the collective, lasting effects in the mind afterwards

The Stepford Wives   A town full of too-perfect wives--how did they get that way?? BB comments: "Amazing similarities! The assembly annihilated our personalities, for sure! You didn't last if you were keen on keeping your personality...My husband and I woke up after we left realizing that is especially how most wives were." - Kimberly T. Critics seem mostly prefer the 1975 version over the 2004.

The Tale of Two Cities   Noble and evil characters in opposition

The Truman Show   Deceived that life within an illusion created and controlled by a despot is real life. Wikipedia has a good entry on this movie.

The Village   Control

The Wave   A high school teacher demonstrates how easily a group can be induced to conformity and cruelty. Based on the real experience of a high school class in Palo Alto, CA, in 1969. Very relevant! Watch it here, or purchase at The Wave - Alexander Grasshoff - 1981.

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