Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, poster by California Historical Society I saw a documentary "Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple."

I have heard about the cult "Peoples Temple" before, but I knew little about it. Through large amount of rare footages and in depth interviews of the Peoples Temple survivors and family members of the members of Peoples Temple, the documentary takes a deep look into this cult and tries to find out why 909 people committed "mass murder/suicide" on November 18, 1978 in Jonestown, Guyana.

This film is what a great documentary looks like. It goes beyond the headline and dig deep into the story. I begin to understand whom Jim Jones was. I begin to understand why so many people crossed the racial and social boundaries to come together and even devoted their lives to this cult leader and their "church."

Many of the cult followers were struggling with the social injustice and racial discrimination in the 60s and 70s. Jim Jones offered them equality and sense of belonging that the society didn't offer. So Peoples Temple becomes their utopia where they could be so happy and united. Only the sad part is that later some of them realize they are betrayed and they have no way out.

This is definitely a great documentary I have seen this year and I surely hope it will get an Oscar nomination.

My rating: 9 out of 10.

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