Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple

Film, Documentaries

Time Out says

Jim Jones was the pastor/pervert who mixed fundamentalist Christian dogma with an odd strain of humanitarian socialism to form a bizarre commune (Jonestown) in the late 1960s which was very much a symptom of rural America’s growing distrust of its government. Eventually forced by a critical media to decamp to the jungles of Guyana, amongst a number of nefarious dealings, Jones then instigated the largest mass-suicide (with a huge batch of tampered Kool Aid) in recorded history. Via some haunting archive footage of Jones preaching to and bullying his commune, the film says just as much about the state of American politics, the emergence of a mass media and the perceived sanctity of religion as it does about one of the world’s lesser-known demagogues. 

By: David Jenkins



Release details

90 mins

Cast and crew

Stanley Nelson
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