Jonestown: Paradise Lost

Jonestown: Paradise Lost

2007, Crime  -   15 Comments
Ratings: 7.69/10 from 90 users.

An evangelical preacher led nearly a 1,000 followers from the United States deep into the jungles of South America. They would build a new community free of oppression and violence and it was to be their paradise on Earth, but outsiders threatened to expose the dark side of their leader. In one day two worlds collided and paradise was lost. In November 1978 reporters around the world broke the news that Jim Jones and more than 900 of his followers died.

By the late 1960s and early 70s the streets of America erupted in violence and civil strife. War in Vietnam, civil rights marches and political assassinations played out on television. Out of this turmoil thousands of Americans flocked to hear the sermons of a charismatic preacher named Jim Jones. His early speeches were mixture of socialist ideals and Christian redemption. Some turned to the temple because they needed help, others wanted to serve humanity, but whatever they needed Jim Jones and his peoples temple seem to had it.

Jim Jones claimed special powers to heal the sick and dying. Staged healings were popular attraction at temple meetings. As his popularity grew he preached less about the Bible and more about social activism. He called himself a prophet, a savior who would guide, protect and watch over his followers. His devoted followers referred to him as "father." Many signed over their paychecks, possessions and even their homes. But at the height of his power a darker side of Jim Jones emerged. Former temple members accused Jones of physical and sexual abuse, mind control and forced drugging. In 1977, as media interest grew Jim Jones and hundreds of his supporters left San Francisco, California and set out for Guyana determined to build a new community in the South American country.

"This groundbreaking feature-length hybrid of documentary and drama definitively examines the five tense days leading up to that unthinkable massacre in Guyana. Through this moving program you will come face to face with "Father" and his followers, hear from survivors and experts, and experience for yourself life in Jonestown and the final terrible days there. Jonestown: Paradise Lost perfectly portrays the man who made "the gravest decision in history," and captures the power Jones wielded that allowed him to command followers to kill not only themselves but their own children."

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3 years ago

This is eerie how much this documentary makes one think of Trump and his mindless minions. I've always thought Trump very Jim Jones but now it seems like he's the same person.

7 years ago

That last comment... I know it's wrong, but I laughed so much. Good documentary anyway. It was interesting to heard people who survived the events. The man who lost his kid and the other one who saw his daugther the day she died, these were heartbreaking testimonies.

Jake Harris
8 years ago

Why dont people tell jokes about Jim Jones? Because the punchline is too long.

9 years ago

I hear about this man to much now i see why

Albert Potato
9 years ago

Wasn't it leaked that Jim Jones did work with the CIA and that during the mass suicide,and British SAS units were in the vicinity on a "training" mission?

9 years ago

The guy playing Jim Jones in the dramatic recreations looks like Jack Shepard from lost.

I know it's wrong, but I just can't stop thinking about Jack's line- live together, or die alone.

Bob Trees
9 years ago

I would have liked to have seen a number total of the survivors of this day. Did all the shooters at the airstrip live or died?

Good doc regardless. Gives a glimps of what the people were faced with there.

9 years ago

I remember this happening. Terrible, sad, and devastating for so many - the victims, the few survivors, and the rest of us.