Gareth Higgins
Gareth Higgins

Gareth Higgins ( is a writer and broadcaster from Belfast, Northern Ireland, who has worked as an academic and activist. He is the author of Cinematic States: America in 50 Movies and How Movies Helped Save My Soul: Finding Spiritual Fingerprints in Culturally Significant Films. He blogs at and co-presents “The Film Talk” podcast with Jett Loe at He is also a Sojourners contributing editor. Originally from Northern Ireland, he lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Posts By This Author

My Experience of U.S. Health Care as a Recent Immigrant (Part I)

by Gareth Higgins 08-10-2009
Regular readers will know that in the past year, I embarked on a genuinely life-altering journey. I emigrated to the United States, got married, and now make my home in North Carolina.

The Hurt Locker and the Cause of War

by Gareth Higgins 08-04-2009
Let's get one thing straight: I have no idea what war is really like.

Dueling Visions of Human Life

by Gareth Higgins 08-01-2009

THE UNITED STATES as envisaged in cinema is often a fight club, a place where there are three kinds of people—the thieves who milk the system, the cops who try to catch them, and the rest of

Health Care in the UK: An Astonishing Example of Communitarian Justice

by Gareth Higgins 07-14-2009
Sometime in the spring of 1974, my world was somewhat disturbed by the event of my conception, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Real Life at the Movies

by Gareth Higgins 07-01-2009

Now that most filmed records of human life are made by amateurs—the growth of YouTube and other forms of uploading moving images is the most influential recent development in cinema—we

Abortion: Conversations, Not Killings

by Gareth Higgins 06-02-2009

Eschatology or Bigotry?

by Gareth Higgins 05-28-2009
A couple of weeks ago on Glenn Beck's talk radio show, a woman called in to suggest that because President Obama appears to be raising the tax rate to around the same as what it was under President

Fox 'News' on 'Obama's Apology Tour'

by Gareth Higgins 05-11-2009
Yesterday, under the headline 'Obama's Apology Tour',, in typical sneering style, published" href=""">

The Columbine Killings and the Convenience of Dehumanization

by Gareth Higgins 04-20-2009

Watchmen: A Clone without a Soul

by Gareth Higgins 03-13-2009

Imagine a world in which a human being developed godlike powers and put them to military use. War might soon be a thing of the past. Imagine this world also tolerating people who dress up in costumes to avenge crime before -- as worlds often do -- turning its back on these vigilantes in search of another scapegoat on whom to project its hunger for violence.

New Violence Takes Aim at Northern Ireland's Hard-Won Peace

by Gareth Higgins 03-09-2009
On Saturday night, two young soldiers preparing to go to Afghanistan were murdered in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, were injured.

Audio: Gearing up for the Oscars with Great Films from 2008

by Gareth Higgins 02-02-2009
With the bad economy leaving people without a lot of extra money, many of us have been hunkering down at home with a movie and homemade popcorn.

A Controversial Approach to Healing Northern Ireland's Violent Past

by Gareth Higgins 01-29-2009
It's a significant week in Northern Ireland, with the latest development in the long-running peace process.

The Futility of Violence: Eastwood's Gran Torino

by Gareth Higgins 01-12-2009

The other day I heard a 78-year-old man sing, through a cracked voice, one of the most moving and gentle jazz melodies, as the iconic image of a fetishized sports car being driven into the sunset was projected. And, not for the first time in recent years, I was crying at the end of a Clint Eastwood film.

Cinema Review 2008: The Top Ten

by Gareth Higgins 12-23-2008
I'm always somewhat suspicious of "top 10" lists, despite the fact that I've written one.

2008: Cinema in Review

by Gareth Higgins 12-22-2008
Looking back on the year's movies, I'm struck by how many of my favorites featured the theme of family and community -- perhaps this reflects only my current personal concerns, or maybe there's a b

Bill Maher's Religulous: Polemic Based on Cynical Preconceptions

by Gareth Higgins 10-13-2008
Bill Maher is that rare thing: a media figure unafraid to say what he really thinks.

A 'Call and Response' to End Modern Slavery

by Gareth Higgins 10-08-2008

Lakeview Terrace: Somewhat Thoughtful Thriller

by Gareth Higgins 09-23-2008

The number one film at the U.S. box office this past weekend was Lakeview Terrace, Neil La Bute's somewhat thoughtful thriller in which an LAPD officer harasses his new neighbors; the cop is black, the neighbors are an inter-racial couple. If the ethnic identities were switched, the film might never have been made; and if it had, it would have been a far less interesting film -

Randy Newman's Harps and Angels and the Fall of the American Empire

by Gareth Higgins 09-02-2008

Randy Newman might be surprised to see himself mentioned on a progressive spirituality blog. In his five decades of making music that is alternately brilliantly satirical and elegant (and sometimes both), he hasn't often smiled on religion or religious people. In spite of his skepticism about spirituality, he also has written some of the most beautiful love songs I've ever [...]