Banking on Heaven (2005) Poster

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Beautiful and Shocking
pixel-1014 June 2006
Banking on Heaven goes way beyond anything I've seen on the news about polygamy in the U.S. This story tells about the inside workings and the real people in Colorado City, AZ, not just the sensational atrocities seen on TV. The filmmakers obviously went to great length & risk to tell all sides of the story. The main character, who has suffered and been betrayed by the cult's leader, Warren Jeffs (on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list). is a real heart-breaker.

The film points out the responsibility of lawmakers, fraudsters within the religion, and the Mormon church, which goes by the same scriptures as the polygamists, but refuses to help them. A must-see for anyone interested in cults and abuse.
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It should have won an Oscar!
Syl27 April 2008
Banking on Heaven is about the horrors of polygamy in Colorado City, Arizona where women as young as thirteen are forced into marriages with older men. You have seen the images lately as the siege in El Dorado, Texas at the other compound separated the children from their mothers who look like Laura Ingalls Wilder. First, the women are bred and born into this religion and believe what the prophet or leader has told them about the outside world. The women and children are equally suffering enough in the polygamist lifestyle while their husbands reap the benefits of a patriarchal system from another time and era. It's hard to believe that this is still going on in America but it is. As we hear about the children being ripped apart by their mothers who are as clueless in El Dorado, Texas, polygamy must be stopped more vigilantly even with the banned in the Mormon Church. The Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints or FLDS believe that all others are gentiles even Mormons. I fear another Jonestown and if gay marriage (which I support) gets legalized that it would open the door to the legalization of polygamy. Laurie Allen does a remarkable job but it's not enough. This film should have won an Oscar. It should have been more publicized. Maybe because it's in our backyard, maybe Americans want the romanticized view of polygamy like in the show, Big Love. That's Hollywood! This is real. There is abuse of all sorts here. When you hear the former wives and mothers especially Ruth Cooke who was forced into exile because she wanted to save her daughter from sexual abuse and was placed in a mental hospital. On the streets, strangers such as beggars became her unlikely support. I found it interesting that the cast is not listed here. British born Arizona State Senator Linda Bader was in for awakening. We must not forget that the women and children are born and bred into this patriarchal dictatorship in America's backyard. The members are completely brainwashed as in Waco and Jonestown. Laurie Allen has first-hand experience. I admire her courage to bring polygamy to the forefront. Documentaries don't make money unless you're Michael Moore. This documentary was a labor of love for Laurie Allen and everybody involved. It should have won an Academy Award or have been nominated. They risked their lives to get the remarkable footage of the closed insular community of Colorado City, Arizona.
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Polygamy - Bad.
Spuzzlightyear22 October 2005
Based on Heaven is a film which was made for people who didn't know polygamy cults existed. And that would be… who? OK, I'll be fair here. This expose of polygamy cults, down in Colorado City and (gee what a surprise) Utah, isn't REALLY all that surprising, though it inserts some amusing bits here and there. This film mainly focuses on the women that escaped, or kicked out of the polygamous communities, and they of course tell their stories. Of course, as you know, they were slaves, baby factories, etc etc. Again nothing really new. I only wished they spent more time on the boys and men who were kicked out of the communities (because of course, they provide more competition for the men who have plenty of wives already to acquire more), then to focus on the umpteenth shot of children born to polygamous parents running like hell from strangers because they're taught that those people are the spawn of Satan (which is true lol)
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