Hug an Atheist (2013)
1h 30min · Documentary · 14 September 2013
Hug an Atheist is built around a series of interviews conducted in 2012-2013 and led by Sylvia Broeckx. From its crowd-funded beginning, the film's objective has been to dispel many of the stubborn and long-standing myths and untruths that plague this group of people. A University of Minnesota survey from 2006 showed atheists to be the most distrusted group within the American population, yet whenever someone was pressed to explain their opinion they reached for myths and platitudes. The film tries to illustrate how this group's attitude towards life is really not all that different from most religious people. By interviewing ordinary American atheists, Hug an Atheist takes the viewer on an emotional roller coaster highlighting love, grief, morals, parenting and other life-defining moments and ideas and how and how each is dealt with in a life undefined by a God, religion or afterlife. Apart from these interviews, the filmmakers had unique access to key moments in the lives of some of the protagonists, from a humanist wedding to an atheist Christmas. Scholars and atheist activists provide the broader intellectual and social context in which to place these regular people and their ideas and approaches to life. Is an atheist's morality and sense of good and bad always indebted to the religious context that surrounds them? Is it even possible to define morals and ethics without a 'super-being' or afterlife? Do atheists really wage a war on Christmas? From the academic to the more mundane, Hug an Atheist answers questions that are being asked or should be asked by anyone uninformed or misinformed this growing US minority. The featured atheists span the US geography; filming was conducted from New York to San Francisco, from Harvard to Kentucky, and culminated at the 2013 annual convention of American Atheists in Austin, Texas. These people represent a cross-section of the population, from academics to a comedian, store owners to teachers: American atheists are part of everyday society.
- Written by
Director(s): Sylvia BroeckxCast: Jennifer Beahan, Jeremy Beahan, Greta Christina