United States 2016, 89 min, English, Hebrew subtitles
Their guru looked more like a hot porn star, wearing only a Speedo and Ray-Bans. To his hundreds of beautiful young admirers, that didn’t seem ridiculous. He promised them love, a family, and, of course, enlightenment. As an aide to the guru, director Will Allen served him day and night. He was also the official chronicler of the Buddhafield cult. The film is mostly comprised of clips from his vast collection of archival footage, shot when he was still a cult member. After 22 years, Allen discovered that it was all a sham, and that the guru, Michel, was really an out-of-work actor and professional hypnotist, who cast himself in the role of his life. Despite “the bombshell that destroyed our lives”, survivors of the cult still remember life with Michel as “crazy, terrifying, beautiful”.
Previous Festivals: Sundance