Banking on Heaven

Rated NR 90 minutes 2006

Documentarian Dot Reidelbach's scalding indictment of the tyrannical polygamist Warren Jeffs is an ideal companion piece to the sugar-glazed HBO hit Big Love, not least because it demystifies the practices of a 10,000-member cult (the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) that enslaves women, terrorizes children, and brazenly defrauds public welfare systems -- while politicians, human rights groups, and mainstream Mormons ignore the carnage. Critics call the FLDS "an organized crime family" and "the American Taliban"; the runaways and outcasts we meet here tell horror stories about rampant domestic violence, incest, starvation, imposed illiteracy, and a polygamist police force patrolling the cult's fear-poisoned town of Colorado City, Arizona. "Pretty soon," one distressed ex-wife laments, "you're walkin' around like zombies." Think Big Love's Bill Henrickson violates marital taboos? Rulon Jeffs, the father of the current FLDS "prophet," took 60 wives; when he died, son Warren cherry-picked the harem for his own use. This grim portrait of cold-blooded fascism disguised as Christian virtue makes for timely viewing.

Film Credits

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Director: Dot Reidelbach

Writer: Laurie Allen

Producer: Laurie Allen

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