20 Mind-Blowing Facts You Didn’t Know About Groundhog Day

10. The Jewish And Buddhist Sub-Text

Groundhog Day Im A God Gif
Columbia Pictures

There's a massive response dedicated to reading religious subtexts into the film, with particular focus on Jewish and Buddhist readings. Ramis' own mother-in-law, a Zen Buddhist - said she had been moved by the film - and Spiritual Cinema Circle co-founder Stephen Simon called it "a wonderful human comedy about being given the rare opportunity to live several lifetimes all in the same day."

Of course, that's not how the film was marketed but, but that concept is at the heart of the story. It clearly illustrates the Buddhist idea of samsara, or continuing rebirth, and Bill Murray is the bodhisattva - a figure reincarnated to the brink of nirvana who returns to save everyone.

In Washington, a branch of the Chinese spiritual movement Falun Dafa has used the movie to instruct members in its belief that the spiritual self is not allowed to advance to higher levels until it learns from past mistakes. Dr. Niles Goldstein, a New York rabbi, sees that same ideas as indicative of the pillars of Judaism: "The movie tells us, as Judaism does, that the work doesn't end until the world has been perfected."

Groundhog Day: now showing at your local temple.


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