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The Prophet and the Space Aliens
Director: Yoav Shamir | 96 min | 2020 | Israel, Austria, South Africa

“Why is it easier to accept the tale of a celebrated prophet summoned by a burning bush than the story of a man who received a calling by extraterrestrials?”
– 'Film New Europe'

In December 1973 Claude Vorilhon met a UFO for the first time. The space creatures had come to Earth especially for him, to assign Claude the task of spreading an important message. Claude changed his name to Raël and established a new atheistic religion, based on science. A religion where free love and total pacifism were central – and with himself as the new messiah.

What is the difference between a cult and a religion? Why is it easier for us to accept the story of a man who talked to a burning bush than it is to accept the story of a man who received a prophecy from extraterrestrials? Had there been documentaries about celebrated prophets made during their lifetimes, what kinds of uncomfortable secrets would’ve been revealed?

Upon receiving a mysterious invitation, award-winning director Yoav Shamir recruits one of the world’s leading historians of religion, Prof. Daniel Boyarin, as his mentor and sets off on a thought-provoking, humorous quest. Shamir travels from Raël’s beautiful home in Okinawa to his sleepy home-town in France; from the Raëlians’ “pleasure hospital” in Burkina Faso to the growing Raëlian communities in Asia, Europe and North America.

The story of this modern-day prophet, and his ambitious attempts to venture into new territories in search of loyal followers, sheds light on many themes and questions that religion and faith lay bare.

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