And on a slightly more tasteless if somewhat entertaining note, PhilaMOCA will be hosting a screening on Friday, November 15, 2013, of a rare, uncut 16mm print of Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980). What’s so tasteless, you ask? Well, the screening will coincide with the 35th Anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre (Guyana, not Brian), and there’s free Kool-Aid!
In all seriousness, Exhumed Films and Cinedelphia will present an ultra-rare 16mm uncut print of the 1980 Emmy-winning television film. The 192 minute film takes creative license to detail the tragedy at “Jonestown” which was the informal name for the community formed in northwestern Guyana by the Peoples Temple, a religious organization led by Reverend Jim Jones. Following over two decades of effective recruitment and political influence in the U.S., the Peoples Temple retreated to South America in 1974 where they hoped to escape their perceived persecution as a religious cult. The infamous “revolutionary suicide” that was the Jonestown Massacre occurred in 1978 when 909 Temple members died via cyanide-laced Kool-Aid thereby forever cementing Jones’ status as a villainous, mind-manipulating cult leader. Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones is based on the eyewitness account of Washington Post reporter Charles A. Krause, adapted for the television screen by screenwriter Ernest Tidyman (Shaft, The French Connection). The film follows Jones, played by Powers Boothe in an Emmy-winning performance, from his activism in the ‘50s through what would become the largest single loss of American civilians by a deliberate act until 9/11. The supporting cast includes a bevy of familiar faces including Ned Beatty, Randy Quaid, Veronica Cartwright, James Earl Jones, Brad Dourif, Levar Burton, Colleen Dewhurst, and Diane Ladd.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see one of the greatest television miniseries of all time in all of its uncut 16mm glory.
Robert is a contributing writer at Cinedelphia who is finishing up his undergrad at Temple University in Strategic Communication. He writes for a number of local publications including City Paper and in the past has failed to maintain a series of rambling blogs related to pop culture. In his free time, he also enjoys strange music, offbeat art, and weird people. Follow him on Twitter @RobertSkvarla.