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Jonestown: Paradise Lost (2007) HD online

Jonestown: Paradise Lost (2007) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Documentary / History
Original Title: Jonestown: Paradise Lost
Director: Tim Wolochatiuk
Writers: Jason Sherman
Released: 2007
Duration: 1h 40min
Video type: Movie
Cult leader Jim Jones leads his followers to a mass-suicide.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Biggs Ted Biggs - Himself - Narrator (voice)
Stephan Jones Stephan Jones - Himself - Jim Jones' Son
Vernon Gosney Vernon Gosney - Himself - Peoples Temple Member, 1974-1978
Tim Reiterman Tim Reiterman - Himself - Journalist, San Francisco Examiner
Sherwin Harris Sherwin Harris - Himself - Daughter in Jonestown
Rick Roberts Rick Roberts - Jim Jones
Quentin Krog Quentin Krog - Stephan Jones
Brendan Murray Brendan Murray - Vernon Gosney
Alon Nashman Alon Nashman - Sherwin Harris
Greg Ellwand Greg Ellwand - Congressman Leo Ryan
Kevin Otto Kevin Otto - Tim Reiterman
Roxanne Blaise Roxanne Blaise - Monica Bagby (as Roxanne McKaizer)
Cindi Sampson Cindi Sampson - Christine Miller
Victoria Bartlett Victoria Bartlett - Marceline Jones (as Victoria Bartle)
Nicole Crozier Nicole Crozier - Liane Harris

Reviews: [6]

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    This documentary is a re-enactment with the aid of actual footage depicting the final days of Jonestown, the Peoples Temple and Jim Jones. Through government information, eyewitness and survivor accounts, the last week before the mass murder-suicide on November 18, 1978 is recreated. California congressman Leo Ryan(Greg Ellwand)makes a fatal journey into the jungles of Guyana, where Jim Jones and his followers carved out their own piece of paradise...the community of Jonestown. Rick Roberts does his best to play the role of Jones, the ego-maniacal pastor. But he falls way short of Powers Boothe's dead on portrayal years earlier. Boothe actually seem to capture Jone's arrogance and charisma. Roberts had the mannerisms, but fell short pun intended...the spirit. Archival footage and in-depth personal interviews gives a glimpse into the inner workings of the tragic cult and its surreal demise. Paradise was lost when the Peoples Temple "drank the Kool-Aid" and Jones put a bullet in his head.
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    Chilling documentary about Jonestown and its aftermath. A small number of survivors, including Jones' son, are interviewed on screen, and segments based on their memories are reenacted using a large cast of amateur actors. The only problem with this is, the guy playing Jim Jones is not terribly convincing, and only serves to remind us of how effective Powers Boothe was as the notorious cult leader in a network miniseries some years before. Nevertheless, this is powerful stuff. One of the hardest things to watch is the actual mass murder itself. Someone -- the son, I think -- points out this was not a mass suicide but murder plain and simple. Things I hadn't known or forgotten: the children were killed first, members of the congregation who were unable or reluctant to drink the poison were injected with it, some members managed to escape into the woods, and Jones sent a death squad to kill the congressman, reporters and defectors at the air strip. They killed at least five and wounded several more. Decidedly not for the squeamish. And I'm not sure what purpose it serves. If its message is to tell us to beware of cults, you have to figure it's preaching to the choir. If it serves as a catharsis for the survivors, more power to it. It is not at all like one of those cheaply made STVs that focuses on a particular killer like Dahmer or Gacy; it's too well made for that.
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    I do remember the re-enactment of the events that led up to the Jonestown Massacre but I also remembered thinking that the re-enactments were additional with the documentary interviews with the real characters like survivor and defector, Vernon Gosney, concerned relative Sherwin Harris, and the real Stephan Gandhi Jones, Jim and Marceline's only son who survived by playing on the basketball team of Jonestown. While I appreciated the mixture of both documentary and docudrama, they could have used the Powers Boothe performance in the mini-series because Powers gives an amazing performance on screen that is simply unforgettable which is why it's hard to imagine somebody lesser known incapable of delivering the material. The real names of the characters also helped in the case. I am not going to compare movies but I thought this was the history channel's version of Jonestown.
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    I thought this documentary movie about Jonestown was excellent! However, the guy who played Jim Jones did not have the same charisma, dangerous edge that Powers Boothe had. Other than that, the reenactment of the events leading up to the poisoning was quite good! The girl who played the doomed Liane Harris was so good! She conveyed the emotions of a girl barely out of her teens who wanted to make a difference in the world. Liane was a good girl with a wonderful heart who wanted to do the right thing by her mother and she thought joining the Peoples Temple was a great thing. Sadly, it led to her death, her mother's and 2 younger half-siblings' death as well. I felt bad for her father, Sherman Harris who was just connecting to his daughter before this tragedy. I felt compassion for Vern Gosney because he really thought he was doing the right thing for his small son and this lead to the boy's death. I felt bad for Stephan Jones the bio son of Jim and Marcelline Jones. He really was close to his mom and I don't blame him for not missing his dad because Jim Jones made his followers do themselves in. Stephan was well-informed, intelligent and it's too bad he didn't have a father who was the same way! Good documentary of the tragedy that happened 37 years ago!
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    I was 18 when these events took place in Guyana. Being in the UK I hadn't been aware of this horrendous series of events leading up to the mass killing of all those people and so many children. Much has been made in earlier reviews of the portrayal of Jones by Rick Roberts but in my opinion I thought Mr Roberts did a great job of portraying Jones in his final three days when, after his leadership was being questioned and his arrogance worn down by drugs and an increasing paranoia, became dangerously and lethally unstable. I'm sure Powers Boothe did a tremendous job in an earlier retelling of this atrocity and perhaps portrayed Jones for a longer period than just the last three days of his life. At the end of all of this though, regardless of who played the roles, is the unimaginable horror of the mass killing of all those people and those trying to get people out of Jonestown; failing in the process, and for that I am saddened and truly sorry. If this retelling serves as a warning of the dangers of cultism (as other reviewers have said) then maybe some good can come out of such a dark and harrowing time.
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    A sick circus show with actors playing upon the dramatization of the memories of facts long gone.