The scariest thing about "Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple" is that so many of the followers of Jim Jones, the demented demagogue who led them to commit mass suicide, appear to have been intelligent, idealistic, life-loving people.
The film paints a portrait of Mr. Jones, who died with his flock in Guyana, as a man with two faces. The appealing one was that of a trained Pentecostal minister, an idealist with polished oratorical skills.
And from another review:
It is indicative of the depth of the human need to believe and belong that no matter what his excesses, members of Jones' congregation continued to cut him the necessary slack.
Getting individuals to do this [commit mass homicide/suicide] was not the work of a day or even a year. People had gotten in too deep to escape, had gotten into the habit of, as one man says, "letting Jim Jones think for me. He had a better plan."
I wonder how many know about Jonestown's Christian origins. I wonder how many Christian leaders said or thought after the revelations of abuse and mass suicide, "I thought they were a solid, zealous, socially progressive church."
If it's not playing at a theater near me, I'll definitely catch it on DVD.