Pinhole Movie Reviews

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple by tincolor

Stanley Nelson’s documentary about Jim Jones and his role in the suicide/murder of over 900 of his followers, a news camera man and a US Congressman, in Jonestown Guyana, is EXCELLENT! I generally consider all documentaries to be nothing more than stylized propaganda, and while this film is ultimately propaganda for the survivors, it avoids the pitfall of trying to answer the question, “why?” While most of us may know about the tragedy of Jonestown, to many people, Peoples Temple started out as a group of progressive Americans that practiced racial and social equality beginning the same year that Rosa Parks got on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. How did someone who founded such a promising movement ultimately take part in the deaths of so many people? Who exactly was Jim Jones? Why did his followers trust him so devoutly and why did so many people accept Jones’s order to end not only their own lives by the lives of their infant children? There are so many compelling “whys” and so many tempting answers, but the truth is, no adequate answers exist. The closest we can get to the truth is through the testimonies of those that survived the massacre, those that left the church before it moved to Guyana, and through the many images and sound recordings that were made by and of Jim Jones himself. Admittedly that only gives us the perspective of those who were directly involved with Jim Jones, but thankfully, that’s all this film purports to be. Absolutely worth watching!

Bonus: The entire film is currently available on Youtube:



1 Comment so far
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Thanks. You’ve convinced me to track it down! Regards Thom.

Comment by Thom Hickey

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