Monthly Archives: October 2018


The Source Family

Most cults have a very similar life cycle: the early days are filled with bliss and optimism but darkness and turmoil eventually emerge and the group falls apart. Thus, it’s inevitable that a lot of documentaries about these groups feel like they are following the exact same template.  Although the events …


Holy Hell Buddhafield

Holy Hell (2016) is a cult documentary that’s predictable in many ways but surprising in other deep and challenging ways.  After graduating from college, Will Allen wandered into a Los Angeles new age cult called Buddhafield in 1985.  The group was led by Michel Rostand—a well-tanned disciplinarian who rarely wore more than …


The Road Movie

Many cars in Russia are equipped with dash cams. There are various reasons for the proliferation of the cams, including pure voyeurism, evidence in case of accidents, and protection against the police, who apparently shudder at the notion of being captured on camera. This low-res panopticon has become a source of …


Operation Odessa Miami

There have been many great docs about the Miami underworld, specifically Billy Corben’s Cocaine Cowboys series. Operation Odessa (2018) from Showtime Documentary Films is surely one of the very best of these films. Operation Odessa is a jaw-dropping true-crime documentary that really must be seen to be believed.


Narco Cultura

Since 2006, the drug war in Mexico has claimed at least ten thousand lives. People across the world are familiar with horror stories of random citizens being murdered by narcos. Many people see those responsible for these violent acts as villains, but some view them as romantic figures. This dichotomy …