Movies and documentaries for atheists, freethinkers, rationalists, godless and non-believers alike

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“Contact” is a 1997 American science fiction drama film adapted from the book of the same name by Carl Sagan. The film stars Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, William Fichtner, John Hurt, Tom Skerritt, David Morse and Angela Bassett.

Jodie Foster portrays the film’s astronomer, Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway. She has long been interested in finding a contact to extraterrestrial life, and after years of searching and struggling for funding, she finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens who send signals for a mysterious “Machine”. Apparently the signal is emitting from the vicinity of the star Vega.

Ellie’s team discovers that a video source is buried in the signal: Adolf Hitler’s welcoming speech at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Ellie and her team assume that this would have been the first strong enough television signal to leave Earth’s atmosphere.

An international panel is gathered to choose a candidate to travel to the Machine. Ellie is one of the top selections but her lack of religious faith gets in the way and somebody else is selected to travel to The Machine. However, on day of testing the transportation machine, a religious fanatic (Jake Busey) manages to destroy the machine completely in a suicide bombing, killing everyone on board.

When the funding got pulled from her, Ellie gained funding from billionaire industrialist S. R. Hadden (John Hurt), who had been following Ellie’s career. After the bombing accident the mysterious Hadden reveals to Ellie that there is a second machine, hidden in Japan, and in fact she could be the pilot. Ellie begins her journey.

Released in 1997
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Written by Carl Sagan (novel, story), Ann Druyan (story), James V. Hart (screenplay) and Michael Goldenberg (screenplay)
Starring Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Skerritt

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