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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Extraordinary Documentary

Author: Eric Shapiro (wildlightpro@gmail.com) from United States
27 September 2009

I've seen this film twice now on HBO, and have been riveted and moved both times. The Variety review linked from IMDb gets it backwards: the film is not aimless, but open -- as if it enters the void occupied by the ex cult members on the screen. Nor is the film limited; rather, it's intriguing. It hints at horrors so enormous that the viewer is inspired to contemplate what life in The Family must have been (and still be) like. The direction and editing are of unusually high quality for a cable documentary; the entire presentation is feverish, fractured, and consistently dynamic. It's inspiring to know that this movie was helmed by a former member of the cult, as its electric vitality suggests that the director's spirit escaped intact.

Of particular interest -- however superficial -- is the fact that all the former cult members on screen are good-looking. This sounds like a silly thing to say, but I suspect anybody who watches the film will notice it. Are the members aesthetically pleasing because the leadership chose attractive people to participate in The Family's sexually charged lifestyle? In any case, it's unusual to encounter -- be it in a documentary or in real life -- a concentrated group of people with this level of charisma and aesthetic appeal. Watch it and see.

A truly novel, memorable, and revealing piece of work.

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