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Programming

“MUST SEE TV”

Posted by Greg Petersen on 03/30 at 11:05 AM

A documentary that you should see.

Tonight’s AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, “Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple,” may be the best TV you’ve seen in a long time.  The program examines the story behind the November 1978 mass murder-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, where more than 900 people were led to their deaths by cult leader Jim Jones.

Award-winning filmmakers Stanley Nelson, Marcia Smith, and Noland Walker reveal the true, tragic story behind enigmatic preacher Jim Jones and his promise of a world of economic and racial equality that ultimately led to the largest mass murder-suicide in history. This documentary tells the story of the people who joined Peoples Temple, following Jones from Indiana to California and ultimately to their deaths in Guyana in November 1978. Jonestown was an official selection of numerous 2006 film festivals, including Tribeca, Silverdocs, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Hailed as “surreal and heartbreaking” (The Village Voice) and “chilling” (San Francisco Chronicle), the 90-minute American Experience film features first-hand recollections of former Peoples Temple members, including some who narrowly escaped death in those frantic, final days in the South American jungle; relatives of those who died; and candid interviews with Jones’s son, Jim Jones, Jr. “We wanted the story to be told in the voices of the people who lived through it,” explains Nelson. “Of the five people who survived, there are — to my knowledge — three left alive. Two of them are in the film.”

Jonestown also includes never-before-seen footage shot inside Peoples Temple, providing a rare glimpse of Jones’s passionate preaching and emotional healing services.

It’s a gripping program that’s hard to watch, yet compelling to watch at the same time.

{name} Author: Greg Petersen
Bio: Director - Programming Services

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