Reverend Jim Jones, the priest of an independent church in the South American country Guyana, orders his followers to commit suicide. But not all of them follow him blindly and begin to think on their own.
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Featuring never-before-seen footage, this documentary delivers a startling new look at the Peoples Temple, headed by preacher Jim Jones who, in 1978, led more than 900 members to Guyana, where he orchestrated a mass suicide via tainted punch.
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George C. Scott,
Based upon the true story of Reverend Jim Jones, a self-proclaimed prophet who founded the Peoples Temple. In the 1960s, he began as an idealist helping minorities and working against racism. After a move to San Francisco and increased power and attention, Jim Jones became focused on his belief in nuclear holocaust. He had a loyal following of over 1000 people, who had donated their entire life savings to him and to join his commune, before moving them to Guyana. When possible illegal activities came to the attention of the authorities, and once notified that some individuals are being held against their will, they began to investigate. Rather that face the charges against him, Jim Jones committed suicide, and convinced virtually most of his followers to do the same. Written by
Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>
The dialogue in the mass suicide/murder scene was taken almost word-for-word from an audiocassette found in a portable tape recorder under Jim Jones' chair. The tape recorder's batteries were run down, so it ran much slower than normal, recording the entire 40-minute event. See more »
In the film, more than 10 people die during the Port Kaituma airstrip shooting. In real life, five people died. See more »
Rev. Jim Jones:
All my children, please come to the pavillion for one last time. Hurry, hurry my children.
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"The film you are about to see is a dramatization of the life of Jim Jones. Born - May 13, 1931 Lynn, Indiana - Died - November 18, 1978, Jonestown, Guyana. This is his story." See more »
When I first saw the video at the video store, I was fascinated. I remember seeing the Waco Branch Davidian cult compound burn and reading about Jonestown in Time and Newsweek in 1993, and I was intrigued as to why so many people would readily lay down their lives for some madman like David Koresh or Jim Jones. So, I rented Guyana Tragedy for some insight into the Peoples Temple cult. What I saw was very interesting to watch. Powers Boothe did an excellent job as Jim Jones, in my opinion. You can see how persuasive, demanding, and maniacal Jones really was. And the other characters in the movie are all well-played. James Earl Jones makes a small appearance as Father Divine, but he stands out as only he can, Darth Vader voice and all. Ned Beatty, Randy Quaid, LeVar Burton all shine here. This surprised me in that it was more watchable than I thought it would be. A VERY nicely-done movie, worth anyone's viewing.
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