- Information at Internet Movie Database
- Hollywood Jesus visual review
- Looking Closer, review by Jeffrey Overstreet, "searching for truth, beauty and meaning in the movies."
- Cinema in Focus, a social and spiritual commentary by Hal Conklin and Denny Wayman.
- "Robert Zemeckis's Contact as a Late-Twentieth Century Paradiso," Gregory M. Sadlek, Journal of Religion and Film.
- "Anti-feminism in Recent Apocalyptic Film" by Joel W. Martin, Journal of Religion and Film, 2000.
- Review, Steve Lansingh, TheFilmForum: Christian Conversation about the Movies.
- Review, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Health - Spiritual Practices for Human Being.
- Alternate Reality
- Ellie is called to experience an alternate reality (symbolized by her journey to the other world and by her love with Joss and with her father) which she cannot explain or prove.
- "...although we know earth is no longer central, the visual magic of this shot suggests our home planet is still very important. If for no other reason, this makes the shot supportive of human meaning making and anthropomorphic affirmation in the manner of classic apocalyptic." ("Anti-feminism in Recent Apocalyptic Film" by Joel W. Martin, Journal of Religion and Film, 2000.)
- See "Armageddon at the Millenial Dawn," Conrad Ostwalt, Journal of Religion and Film, 2000.
- Ellie's call to study and then to experience the alternate reality.
- Entry into Jerusalem/Palm Sunday
- Ellie is welcomed back from her "journey" as a hero, but then becomes the object of an interrogative power struggle to discover (and *own*) "what happened."
- raises serious issues about faith in the midst of science?s quest for knowledge. (submitted by Ellis I Washington, Columbus GA)
- Father Figure
- Theodore Arroway as Ellie's father - also a mediator figure used to show her new worlds.
- Ellie is sure that she killed her father because she didn't get him the right pills on time.
- Ellie's journey returns her home - in all outward appearance she was never gone from there at all. Her experience of journey brings her into a fuller appreciation of the truths within her own home/heart.
- Ellie's journey takes her miles and hours from home, and yet she cannot prove that she has gone anywhere - from the outside it looks as if she has gone no where. Like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," her journey has been an inner journey about learning truths of love and faith.
- Seeing/Not Seeing
- The scene where Dr. Arroway (Jodie Foster) is called to testify before the congressional hearing reminds me of the scene where the Blind Man (well, ex-Blind Man actually) is called to testify before the Pharisees. Whilst there is an obvious difference in that the Blind Man could provide the Pharisees with the sort of physical evidence that Dr. Arroway could not, the interogators in both cases have made their minds up and are unwilling to "see" the truth that is being presented to them. The 'truth' is not always visible to the naked eye. (Andrew Fox, Russell Street Uniting Church, Toowoomba, AU)
- In the movie, she uses this
machine built by unknown alien plans. The
machine takes her on a journey that is very
powerful and real, the problem is that it
appears to the entire world that nothing happened. She is dismissed as
delusional, but it is as real to her as anything
she has ever experienced. Our walk with Christ
is the same. It has to be experienced. To those who have not experienced
it seems delusional, but for those who walk with
Christ it is real and true. (Steve
Richardson, First United Methodist Church of
- Alternate Reality