Holy Hell

Aug 26 - Aug 31, 2016

(Will Allen, US, 2016, DCP, 100 min)

Seattle premiere!

For 22 years, Will Allen immersed himself 24/7 in Buddhafield, a Los Angeles cult with hundreds of members and a narcissistic, sociopathic leader named Michel Rostand. The group would live, work and meditate together, banishing all ties to their family in the hope of finding greater enlightenment. Their spiritual guru would, in turn,  psychologically torture and brainwash his disciples on a daily basis. A film-school graduate, Allen's primary role was as Buddhafield's official documentarian, recording hundreds of hours of footage viewable only to fellow cult members. Produced by Jared Leto, Will Allen’s film culls years of home movies filmed inside the Buddhafield to weave a mesmerizing and traumatic insider document of life inside the cult that offered a surface-level path to utopia, peace and harmony - a cautionary tale and personal exorcism. Allen, who left the cult in 2012, like many former Buddhafield members, was still suffering from PTSD and trying to move on. "I'd been honest my whole life in this group, but it was all based on deception and surrounded by lies," he says. "My film voice was the one that said, 'Let's explore the truth.'"
“When things went sour, Allen was armed with a wealth of footage to deconstruct his former idol. Like watching a takedown of Hitler by a disillusioned Leni Reifenstahl, what emerges is one of the decade’s strangest and most unsettling documentaries…” -- Peter Debruge, Variety

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