Picking up from Charles Wright’s careful exposé, documentarian Alex Gibney pieces together a short history of Scientology from its humble beginnings in sci-fi stories written by founder L. Ron Hubbard to its Hollywood popularity boom, and the wheelings and dealings of its current leader David Miscavige. It also gives voice to the church’s former members, like Paul Haggis, whose story was documented in the rather infamous, much fact-checked 2011 New Yorker article by Wright. The litigious nature of the church is almost more famous than its coterie of celeb members, so these first hand accounts are brave, angry and unsettling. A deftly told history of an endlessly interesting religious phenomenon, Going Clear is an extraordinary film.
“Jaw-dropping… Seeing is disbelieving.” — New York Magazine