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After successful premieres at last year's Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival, and ahead of its international theatrical release, Nick Broomfield's harrowing true-crime documentary debuts Monday not in U. For director Nick Broomfield, HBO has long been something of a stateside home, as the channel previously handled four of his prior works: . Together, they form a standout trio that's not only in line with HBO's decades-long commitment to documentary filmmaking, but in fact marks the cable giant's ascension to a new position as the most important venue for incisive, exciting nonfiction filmmaking.
Broomfield studied law and political science before joining the National Film School. We travelled a lot and I was brought up in quite an unconventional way. To my grandfather: when he was dying, I promised to get him out of hospital so he could die at home. Tony Blair - he betrayed a very idealistic party and all its ideals. With the network having already had a hand in 2014's two nonfiction Oscar winners—Laura Poitras' feature-length .His latest effort may be his best yet, and thus its arrival on TV rather than movie screens speaks to both the waning support documentaries receive from theatrical outlets, and to HBO's unparalleled championing of the form, be they of the true-crime, exposé, or biographical variety.
Based on Lawrence Wright's 2013 book, Gibney's documentary is a scathing examination of the Church of Scientology, through both the prism of its own history, and through the development of its membership recruitment and business expansion practices. Ron Hubbard's career trajectory from sci-fi author to new-age messiah, Scientology's successful efforts to be recognized as an official (and thus tax-exempt) church, and the horror stories of many former disciples who left the Church, Gibney's film assumes a straightforward interviews-and-recreations form to reveal truths hidden behind heavily guarded doors.