The major film studios need to look over their shoulders, because a new player is in town. HBO Films entered the buyers market at this year's Sundance Film Festival by acquiring the massively anticipated documentary, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Who knows what types of doors this will open to future purchases by the premium cable channel, but thankfully they wasting no time releasing the documentary to its subscribers.
Director Alex Gibney centers his film around author Lawrence Wright's book of the same name, and talks to former high ranking officials of the Church of Scientology who have since left the church. Going Clear skillfully uses archived footage and in-depth interviews with eight former church members to shed light on the current state of the wealthy "religion". What begins as a look into the crazed world of founder, science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, develops into an enthralling examination of where the church has ventured since his passing in 1986.
For nearly three decades, David Miscavige, has used Scientology's church-status power to create a completely disconnected reality between his religion's members and the rest of the outside world. Going Clear also aggressively tackles the celebrity status of current members John Travolta and Tom Cruise in such a way that its two-hour running time passes with ease.
Scientology has always been a great mystery until recently, and Gibney refuses to overlook any of the various controversies surrounding the religion which include abuse of members, harsh living conditions for children and misconduct from its leaders. Going Clear is an eye-opening and captivating detailed account of Scientology account that you won't want to miss.