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Scientology: A Prison of Faith - DVD

Scientology: A Prison of Faith - DVD

USA 2015 - with Paul Haggis, Jason Beghe, Spanky Taylor, Lawrence Wright ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating - Movie:

Movie info

Original title:Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
Direction:Alex Gibney
Sales launch:11.05.2016
Production country:USA 2015
Running time:Approx. 115 min.
Rated:Ages 12+
Number of discs:1
Languages:German, English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Picture format:16:9 (1.78:1)
Region code:2
Amazon Link : Scientology: A Prison of Faith - DVD

Content: If you hear the name Scientology, most people think of brainwashing, dubious machinations and Tom Cruise. But few people really know the details. Of course, this is due to the fact that much of what goes on within this organization should not get out. But it is also because only certain aspects of Scientology are repeatedly covered in the media. Filmmaker Alex Gibney, who has already made acclaimed documentaries about WikiLeaks, Al-Qaeda, Steve Jobs or the machinations of Enron, now tries in Scientology: A Prison of Faith, to offer as comprehensive an insight as possible into the emergence, the spread and the controversial practices of the Church of Scientology. To do so, he not only uses numerous archival recordings such as interviews with founder L. Ron Hubbard, but also lets numerous former members have their say (active members declined invitations for interviews or did not even respond).

No question, the film confirms the negative image of Scientology. But it also makes clear why so many people are fascinated by Hubbard's teachings, why they are willing to sacrifice their fortunes and their individuality for it. It becomes clear through the many interviews how support in a community is advertised to the members, the cleansing from all bad thoughts or the detachment from everything that makes one unhappy is suggested. One makes it too easy for oneself as a critic if one dismisses all this as nonsense and brainwashing. Rather, one must try to understand not only the mechanisms of the string pullers, but also the motivations that make people so susceptible to such an organization and what it promises that they seem to abandon any form of common sense.

To see what motivated Hubbard to found Scientology and how what his followers actually believe came to be is frightening, but also fascinating. Gibney's film does a very good job of putting the emergence and strengthening of what many consider a cult into a contemporary historical and socio-political context. This helps to understand Scientology and also to expose it. In this respect, the explanatory approach Gibney has taken to his documentary makes Scientology: A Prison of Belief not only a very involving film, but also a hugely important one.

There are some moments that viewers won't soon forget, moments that are disturbing in their own way or also very enlightening. In the end, the film provides a very good basis for discussion and puts what was previously rather just prejudice on firm footing. An extremely exciting documentary that makes it hard to ever watch Tom Cruise or John Travolta again completely detached from their role in the Church of Scientology. Absolutely recommended!

Picture + Sound: The sound is at a good level for a documentary, with interviews, voice-over commentary and the music setting the tone here. Surround fireworks should therefore not be expected. Since the film makes use of a lot of archival footage, qualitative sacrifices have to be made time and again in terms of image sharpness. Here and there there is also some slight soiling, which is not surprising given the age of some of the interviews or news reports. The actual interviews, on the other hand, please with good overall sharpness and a coherent color scheme. Overall, there is a satisfied for the technical implementation: good!

Extras: Bonus material has the DVD unfortunately not to offer.

Conclusion: Scientology: A Prison of Belief is a gripping documentary about Scientology, its founder and his ideology, which followers have difficulty escaping. Former Scientology followers offer the viewer insights into the methods of the organization, which have led to the fact that the Church of Scientology is observed in Germany in some states by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. A film that stirs and enlightens - and although the DVD has no extras to offer, that alone makes the disc absolutely recommendable!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp