We (a few of us @ the Maryland Happy Hour) started talking about good atheist Movies...that are a lot less subtle then the obvious ones...
The first two that came to my mind were (and I'll explain why I think so)...
DUNE & Children of Dune
Novels made into a movies.
DUNE & Children of Dune... the oppressed people (Fremen) make the main character Prince Paul Atreides into this messiah (I think unlike the movie, in the book there is more of Paul being just a very talented leader than a messiah)...and Paul decides to exploit the people's superstitions and use it to his advantage to revenge his rather's murder at the hands of the enemies (The Harkonnen) they even call it a jihad. In children of Dune Paul's son has to take over control from the sycophantic religious leaders who use Paul's legacy has messiah or Muab'Dib to control the people. Paul comes back in the book after years of roaming the desert (see the jebus comparison here)...and instead of laying claim to some holy place in history...Paul comes back to destroy his legacy, and the god/messiah that the sycophants & people whom he lead. In the end Paul's son triumphs b/c the religion of Paul Muab'Dib is completely destroyed...thus allowing his son to rule as his own man.
The Truman Show
IF the writer is NOT an atheist...he is certainly familiar with the proccess of "unlearning what you have learned" and breaking free from god-like control.
If you haven't seen it yet..sorry...but you should see this film even after I summarize it.
Basically the main character...Truman...is grown and matured in a bubble and his life is televised to the whole world 24-7. Of course he doesn't realize it until one day he starts noticing some strange behavior from his wife, the towns people, and a stage light that falls from the heavens. There's a little romantic ideology thrown here there, but not enough to make me sick, in which the Truman really starts waking up and is driven by the fling that he had with an actor, who is taken off the set b/c she was starting to interfer with the director's vision (Director/Producer is the god-like figure in this television show with ultimate power to control everything in Truman's world as he knows it). Many deep philosophical questions are asked in this movie, like why it took so damn long for Truman to start questioning his environment. The director simply states a foundational human truth..that we merely accept the reality in which we are presented, b/c it's a default comfortable human position. Of course in the end no-one not even the god-director/producer can stop Truman from wanting to escape is illusionary facade prison. The most telling line in the end and at other places in the movie is when the god-director/producer figure says to Truman right as he is nearly escaped that Fear of the unknown will keep him in this prison, and that it's the world out there that's the sick place, and the world that he created for Truman is safe, where he can be protected and live happily. Of course once the blanket of deception & lies have been lifted from Truman's eyes (where have we heard this before)...there's no going back and Truman walks out to embrace an unknown and uncertain future.
Thinking about it now...doesn't the fact that Truman broke away from this fantasy land...make him that much more impervious to superstition/religious doctrine in the outside world?
i think you know the answer to that question.
OK now you're turn...