Thursday, May 3, 2012

They've Escape the Compound! Sons of Perdition Review

Imagine growing up not knowing the difference between Bill Clinton and Hitler, never knowing the tune “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” or even knowing that Catholics believe in Jesus.  It seems crazy, but for the people who live in The Crick (Colorado City), a compound of Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) on the Utah/Arizona border, it is their way of life.  Some, however, get the courage to leave that life behind.  This is their story.

The documentary follows a few teenage boys and girls who have made their escape.  In telling the tale we meet adults who have also cut loose of the chains of Warren Jeffs, who is the head of FLDS and is now best known for being a polygamist and someone who rapes underage females.  In their story we learn of how women and girls are treated (not much better than property), how men are abusive (when one boy jokes that his father is going to cut someone’s head off, you get the idea that there may be some truth behind that), and how polygamy, often with child brides, is the rule of the day.  Under Jeffs’ watchful, perverted eye the group went from a festive place to a version of Hell best saved for horror fiction.  Unfortunately, what these people have had to endure is not the stuff of screenwriters, but because of a man with his own twisted take on the word of God. 

The teens who flee this religious group act pretty much the way you would expect someone to once they go from leading a sheltered, dogmatic life to being thrown into the arms of Devil’s America.  They cut loose.  Music, television, sex, drugs – all the things the church warned them about are now embraced.  It’s a tale as haunting as it is cautionary. 
Nobody really wants to believe this kind of world still exists, at least not in America.  But it does.  There is possibly no better documentary detailing the very problems that come with it, either.  It’s not pleasant.  It won’t fill you with joy.  It may make you question your own religion.  It will do a lot of things, but the one thing it will do best is get you to think.  What kind of people fall prey to something like this?  How can it be prevented?  The answer is as simple as looking at what you believe in and why you believe it.  If you come away from this film asking those questions of yourself, than it has done its job.  If not, well, you may as well be living in a compound of your own making.
Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I received this film for review.  You need to watch it.

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