Outspoken atheist and director Matthew Chapman said he hopes his new film, "The Ledge," will help audiences view atheists in a more positive way.
Speaking to CNN recently about the new thriller about an openly atheist hero and a Christian Villain, he compared the film to “Brokeback Mountain,” a film which he feels made people more accepting of the gay community.
“My hope was to make an emotional appeal,” Chapman said.
The plot of “The Ledge” pits a conservative Christian husband against an atheist man trying to seduce his wife. The film, released Friday, stars Terrence Howard and Liv Tyler and is nominated for best drama at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“People of faith, especially Catholics are used to being trashed by Hollywood but they are not accustomed to films that promote atheism,” said Bill Donahue president of the Conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in regards to the film.
Earlier, actress Tyler told PopEater that she doesn’t view the film as anti-religious but noted that it illustrates how people are quick to judge based on religion, among other things.
Chapman, who also happens to be the great-great grandson of Charles Darwin, said he didn’t make the film for atheists, “but for people in the middle of the country questioning what it’s all about.”
“Really, The Ledge is at the beginning of a movement toward more open discussion of atheism and agnosticism,” he stressed, according to My Fox Houston.
Atheists hold a valid point of view, according to Chapman who is urging Christians and all believers to see the new film.
“There are a lot of us; we are thinking people; we care about many of the same issues as believers, and yet we are rarely heard and widely hated,” Chapman commented.
“I hope atheists who are still in the closet will take heart from the film and think. I am not alone.”