British Filmmaker Looks Past Horror of Last Day

by Juno Jakob

I am a British film maker who has successfully made several feature films made and released in the US.

For years I have been pursuing the idea of making a feature film about Jonestown, a story which I believe has never really been told. Everything I have seen has interpreted it in one way, as a macabre massacre. The focus on the brutality of Peoples Temple’s last day – aside from being tasteless – leaves us nothing to hang onto about the people who died.

I want to create a film that follows a fictional character who joins Peoples Temple after losing a family member. As the character is introduced to Peoples Temple, we see the different points of view from different people and their opinions on the group. I wish to show one person’s uncertain view on the Temple and whether it was a good place, a healthy place, a dangerous place, or a combination of them all.

While any film about Jonestown must include November 18th 1978 as an important and pivotal part of the story, that doesn’t mean it must be a horror film. Indeed, by taking away the morbid fascination with it, we can humanize the events and see what lies underneath.

If anyone has any questions, I will be happy to answer them. Any information towards my extensive research will be much obliged. Please include “JONESTOWN” in the subject line of any emails.

Thank you.

(Juno Jakob can be reached at JunoJakob@hotmail.co.uk.)

Originally posted on July 25th, 2013.

Last modified on January 23rd, 2014.
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