24 October 2014

Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980)
192 min.
Directed by William A. Graham.
With Powers Boothe, Ned Beatty, Veronica Cartwright, Rosalind Cash, Brad Dourif, Meg Foster, Michael C. Gwynne, Linda Haynes, Albert Hall, Diane Ladd, Randy Quaid, Diana Scarwid, Colleen Dewherst, Brenda Vaccaro, LeVar Burton, Irene Cara, James Earl Jones.
An excellent mini-series (which originally aired over two nights) tells the true horror story of how a small town boy grew up to become the infamous reverend who preyed on the weak and who would lead followers in a mass suicide and murder...resulting in over 900 deaths.

Director Graham vividly brings the narrative to life, shifting time frames to show how Jones founded his People's Temple and abused his power over a (mostly) unsuspecting flock.

An Emmy winning electrifying performance from Powers Boothe in the title role buoys this absorbing and ambitious docudrama, while the terrific supporting cast is equally superb.

With its themes and intensity, the film plays as a fitting bookend to the cult horror that was Helter Skelter, a subject explored four years earlier.

Riveting from start to finish.

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