I don't review movies here BUT I read the extremely negative reviews and was curious. All were by new members with this being either their only review or maybe one or two additional ones done soon after to legitimize their reviewing credentials. Obvious plants by the still faithful. Sadly they are still out there.
Their reviews did not have the result intended. They piqued my curiosity and I sought out this film. If you are fascinated by cults or a fan of documentaries seek this film out. It's a rare thing to have this much inside footage of a cult leader and his followers in action. To outsiders the machinations of this vain Svengali seem transparent and obvious. So vain that he was the one who had all of this footage shot. Meeting the members you gain insight, sympathy and understanding as to how and why seemingly intelligent, aware individuals can be swept up by someone and something like this.
The film is well constructed, clear, emotional and does have a point of view. That point of view is what gives this film it's fire and passion. It's made by ex cult members and boy are they angry. It doesn't pretend to be a cold, objective view on what went on there and I think it is better for it. Imagine a film about Scientology made by angry ex-members or a film about the Manson family made by a disillusioned, embarrassed, remorseful ex-member. Oh the truths we'd learn!
My only complaint is that I wanted a cathartic confrontation with the cult leader at the end. There is a confrontation but it seems muted and sad rather than explosive and angry.
See this well made documentary if you can. It's an eight but I'm giving it a ten to counterbalance those idiotic one star reviews.
An inside look at a West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the 1980s that eventually imploded.
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February 18, 2019 at 09:35 AM