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Movie Details

Title:   Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple
Director:   Stanley Nelson
Year:   2006
Genre:   Documentary
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   11.22.06

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
11.22.06Alamo Downtown A new doc about Jim Jones and the whole kool-aid mass suicide thing. I was barely alive when this happened so I didn't really get to experience it on a consciouss level, only learning about it later when an adult made a kool-aid joke that befuddled me. Lucky for me this gave the complete picture of what happened... and does it quite well.

Told through interviews with surviving Peoples Temple members and a surprising amount of both audio and video footage (really... shockingly surprising), this really paints the picture of what all happened there... I had no real grasp on the sheer number of people that died (909) and that Jonestown was in Guyana... It's a really interesting and tragic story that... well the doc plays Jones off as starting off an odd kid then sliding into full-on crazy as he went, but that so many people followed him, gave up their life savings to him, brought their entire family to him... it's a really chilling picture of that certain part of human nature and the right sequence of events that lead to a nazi germany or a mob lynching or whatever... It's also interesting to see how few of these guys snapped out of it when the killing started... and there's this amazing amazing audio of Jones talking while it's going on... and they're giving the children the punch first... and he's telling them to drink it quickly but he's not really tricking them either. He's telling them that it's better to die and to go ahead and drink and they are. they did. 909 of them.

there's also all these film clips and video and stills of Jones, Jonestown, and his congregation. I really want to know why nobody ever talked about his dark glasses though. To me it's such an iconic representation of Jones... it makes me ask myself if it was in his plans all along or if it just seemed like a good idea at the time... and if he had a problem letting people see his eyes because he's maybe afraid they'll see through him. who knows... aside from that though, this movie did a remarkable job of allowing you to picture just how it happened and understand how such a seemingly incomprehensible tragedy can take place.

it's also interesting though... afterward Anne mentioned that another bad thing about this is that it kind of ruined the idea of a commune or co-op situation and radical hippie outlook of trying to change the world... which I guess is true. An ominous event pretty directly leading into the conservatism of the 80s.

so... from an imdb comment there's a youtube link of Jones' audio "deathtape". it's so crazy...
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