When you're a junkie, the money comes and goes--and so does the high. Do relationships stand a chance among addicts? Meet Matt & Tracy and Sebastian & Michelle--two New York City couples ... See full summary »
Dubbed "The Cannibal Cop," Gilberto Valle was convicted in March 2013 of conspiring to kidnap and eat young women. Valle argued it was all a fantasy; the prosecution's narrative convinced ... See full summary »
On February 12, 2008, in Oxnard, California, eighth-grade student Brandon McInerney shot his classmate Larry King twice in the back of the head during first period. When Larry died two days... See full summary »
3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy tells the riveting story of a doctor who made millions preying on the poor and vulnerable of Philadelphia. Told through the eyes of police officers, ... See full summary »
Richard Kuklinski was a devoted husband, a loving father...and a ruthless killer. A decade after HBO last visited him in prison, the convicted murderer, who freely admits having whacked ... See full summary »
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.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this