In 2003, years before terms like “fake news” and “alternative facts” circulated through the media, documentary director Michael Moore used his Academy Awards acceptance speech to accuse then-President George W. Bush of being a “fictitious president” and waging a “fictitious war” in Iraq. “We are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you,” said the director, as cheers and boos echoed through the Kodak Theatre (now the Dolby Theatre) in Los Angeles.
The documentary Holy Hell, about a long-running cult based in California and Texas, is filled with horrifying revelations and cringe-worthy moments of outright absurdity. Allen, now 53 years old, was just 22 when he was invited by his sister to join what, at the time, seemed like a joyous commune in California. Video that Allen captured as the group’s unofficial filmmaker depict a yuppie paradise on the California coast, filled with dancing and singing and spiritual awakening imparted by its leader, a man who went only by the name Michel.