Our Spiritual Cinema Community

Features at The Center for Wellbeing,  Congregational Church of Manhasset, NY

Do you have a favorite inspirational movie?  Let us know.  Perhaps it is a movie that changed your perspective or deepened it? 

Once or twice a month, we invite people from the community to get together and watch a movie that reminds us of what it means to be human. The kind of move that explores new possibilities; that helps us understand more of the world around us.  We look at movies that have depth, from moviemakers that took a chance on subjects and storylines that have the power to become something much more than a movie. 

Provided below is a group of hand-selected movies, that received audience acclaim.  We get to see them again and our community gets together to discuss the film, the themes, values, and principles behind the films and see how they may apply in our lives.

The Matrix – “The Most Eye-Popping & Imaginative Movie of the Year.” – Gannett. Breaking box office records as the biggest Easter opening ever, this special effects-driven tale follows Keanu Reeves on a sci-fi adventure

Paths of Glory is a powerful, fact-based absurdity-of-war film stars Kirk Douglas as a commanding officer who defends three scapegoats on trial for a failed offensive that occurred within the French Army in 1916.

Sir Ben Kingsley stars as Mohandas Gandhi in Lord Richard Attenborough’s riveting biography of the man who rose from simple lawyer to worldwide symbol of peace and understanding. A critical masterpiece, 

The Natural, starring Robert Redford as an unknown comes out of seemingly nowhere to become a legendary player with almost divine talent. An inspiring fable of a baseball player’s major league dreams and the mysterious woman who shatters them

Stupid is as stupid does says Forrest Gump as he discusses his relative level of intelligence with a stranger while waiting for a bus. Despite his sub-normal IQ Gump leads a truly charmed life with a ringside seat for many of the most memorable events of the second half of the 20th century. 

Invictus tells an incredible story.  2010 is the year of South Africa. Invictus brings an epic story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), to help unite their country.

Field of Dreams Iowa farmer Ray hears a mysterious voice one night in his cornfield saying “If you build it, he will come,” he feels the need to act. Despite taunts of lunacy, Ray builds a baseball diamond on his land, supported by his wife

A mysterious albino teenager, Jeremy “Powder” Reed (Sean Patrick Flanery), is rescued from the basement in which he’s lived since birth. But the extremely intelligent Reed is not welcomed into the community. Students at his school fear the outsider.

In Selma Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city, Selma, became the battleground for suffrage.

Dead Man Walking – Scheduled to be put to death for brutally slaying two teens, Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn) seeks the aid of activist nun Helen Prejean (Susan Sarandon), a death-penalty opponent. In HD.

Dead Poets Society – Robin Williams stars as a teacher who inspires his students to live their lives to the fullest and “Carpe Diem.” But when tragedy strikes, his lessons are put to the test.

The Mission – A visually stunning epic, recounts the true story of two men – a man of the sword (Robert De Niro) and a man of the cloth (Jeremy Irons).

Samsara is a non-narrative documentary film, directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Magidson, who also collaborated on Baraka (1992), a film of a similar vein. Samsara was filmed over five years in 25 countries around the world

BARAKA is a transcendent global tour that explores the sights and sounds of the human condition like nothing you’ve ever seen or felt before. These are the wonders of a world without words, viewed through man and nature’s own prisms of symmetry, savagery, harmony and chaos. 

Pursuit of Happyness Life is a struggle for single father Chris Gardner.  Evicted from their apartment, he and his young son find themselves alone with no place to go.  Chris eventually lands a job at a prestigious brokerage firm, the position pays no money. 

Peaceful Warrior – A gifted athlete whose desire for success drives everything he does. When a mysterious stranger opens his eyes to a new vision of strength 

The Pianist  Nominated for 7 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, and winner of 3, T A true-life story of brilliant pianist and composer,  

Conversations with God –  Unemployed, homeless and suffering from a debilitating injury, dialogues with the Almighty are turned into a best-selling series of books

Shadowlands C.S. Lewis when his wife died of cancer.  His basic Christian beliefs, magnificently communicated in his many books, were now called into serious doubt

The Celestine Prophecy is a spiritual adventure chronicling the discovery of ancient scrolls in the rainforests of Peru. The prophecy and its nine key insights predict the future

School of Life – The charismatic and hip Mr. D, a teacher whose lessons extend far beyond the classroom. A heartwarming tale of learning to appreciate every moment we’re given

Freedom Writers – Hilary Swank stars in this movie, based on a true story, about a teacher in a racially divided school who gives her students what they’ve always needed – a voice.

The Secret movie brings us a secret that utterly transformed the lives of so many powerful, smart and famous men who lived it.  Now YOU will know The Secret, and it can change your life forever.

The Way Home is based on an inspirational true story about how a rural community rallied around a distraught family to search for their missing two-year-old boy

Heaven is Waiting Years after his wife Kate died, Ned Stevens still hates the idea of dating. But when his daughter Liz brings a surprise home with her during a visit from college, Ned’s world is turned upside down

Rocky – Struggling Philadelphia boxer, scorned by his gym’s owner, patronized by a loan shark and rebuffed by a shy ‘plain-Jane’,  Rocky, the “Italian Stallion” now trains goes the distance…against all odds!

Gibsonburg is based on the true story of the only high school baseball team to win a state championship with a losing record, as well as the trials, tribulations, romances, and mysteries that faced the teens 

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