'Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief' – a controversial documentary by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney ('We Steal Secrets – the Story of Wikileaks', 2013; 'Enron – the Smartest Guys in the Room', 2005; 'Taxi to the Dark Side', 2007) will have its Croatian premiere as part of God, Help Us program at the 18th Motovun Film Festival!
The film that Indiewire calls a "shocking depiction of the demented scientology leaders" exposes the secrets of the Church of Scientology, while focusing on the allegations of emotional and often physical abuse carried out by its founder L. Ron Hubbard and his successor David Miscavige, as well as of dubious and often violent methods practiced by the Church leaders, ranging from blackmailing and stalking of current and former members to the controversial "thought-measuring" device – the E-meter. Only in its first month of release in the US, Going Clear was seen by 5.5 million people (making it HBO's documentary with the second highest viewer-ratings in the past decade), enraging scientologists around the world. To fight Gibney, festival organizers and distributors, they hired teams of lawyers and launched intensive PR campaigns.
Gibney's film will be shown in our God, Help Us program that offers a selection of the best international documentaries dealing with religious extremism. It also includes the Danish-Somalian film Warriors From The North by Søren Steen Jespersen and Nasib Farah, about young Africans from Scandinavia who join the fundamentalist terrorist organization Al Shabaab; Oscar-winner Roger Ross Williams's God Loves Uganda, about ultraconservative American Christian missionaries who managed to lobby for the introduction of death penalty for homosexuals in Uganda; and Oscar-winner Lucy Walker's multiawarded film Devil's Playground, about the Amish facing the temptations of the "real world".
The program also contains Salma, a film by one of the best known and most awarded documentary film makers in the world, Kim Longinotto. It is a fascinating story about a girl from a Moslem village in Southern India, who, at the age of 13, tried to oppose the arranged marriage and continue her education. As a result, her family kept her locked in the cellar for 25 years, not allowing her to learn, read and write. Finally, they did force her to get married. Risking her own well-being and in spite of her family, husband and village, Salma became a reputed politician and the best known Tamil female poet. Salma Rajathi, who is also an acclaimed human rights activist and writer, will be a guest of Motovun Film Festival this year.