CANIBA

Caniba

True crime is as popular as ever.  Mainstream interest in podcasts like Serial and long-form docs such as Making a Murderer is clear evidence of the public appetite for tales of murder, mayhem, and perhaps even justice. Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s Caniba—the subject of which is notorious Japanese killer …

THE SOURCE FAMILY

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

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

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 …