Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Filmmaker Stanley Nelson traces the rise and catastrophic fall of the Peoples Temple movement and its charismatic founder Jim Jones, who convinced hundreds of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana to participate in a mass ‘suicide’ on November 18, 1978. More than 900 people died in the utopian community they had tried to create in the jungle.
“Deeply affecting… Using a remarkable cache of vintage footage, as well as candid interviews with Peoples Temple survivors, relatives, and other eyewitnesses, Nelson examines the massacre with a journalist’s eye. Why the tragedy happened may never be explained, but seldom before has the how of Jonestown been so clearly delineated.” — Cheryl Eddy, San Francisco Bay Guardian
“How this silver-tongued devil wormed his way into Walter Mondale’s entourage, became chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority and convinced hundreds to fly down to South America and drink poisoned punch is hard to believe, but the calamity is made real and terrible and important to hear about in this definitive account.” — Aaron Hillis, Premiere