When Will Allen started making Holy Hell, a documentary about a Hollywood cult, filmed from inside the cult, he didn’t even realize he was making it. Buddhafield is a spiritual community that originated in the 1980s. Its members lived together, performed together, and sought fulfillment through their leader, the charismatic guru Michel. Allen filmed everything, for 22 years.
Eventually, Allen became disenchanted with the group after what he describes as being “many painful years.” Members of Buddhafield allege emotional manipulation and physical abuse by Michel. He left, and took a lot of his friends with him. The film offers a look at how something that’s initially attractive can go horribly awry and become truly terrifying.
Holy Hell premiered at Sundance this year, with Jared Leto as one of the executive producers. On Thursday, September 1, CNN Films will premiere the movie.
Watch a trailer:
Watch the full documentary on CNN Thursday, Sept. 1 at 9:00pm and 11:00pm, and again on Sept. 3 at 8:00pm and 10:00pm.
[image via screen grab]
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