10 April 2008 | joinus2007
A film about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.
I agree with Robert Koehler's Variety review, which suggests a proper context for engaging with these characters and this subject matter:
"Skeptical viewers may wonder how such outwardly conventional and otherwise unremarkable people could allow themselves to be dominated by one man -- particularly someone like Melz, who comes off as a stern control freak on camera. Lifton and other experts remind that the very nature of belief, plus the power of a particularly strong leader, makes the mind vulnerable to cult-like obedience. It's this lesson, as well as the vivid recording of actual events, that makes "Join Us" an unusually useful doc."
Also, check out this review from Docuchick:
"Ondi Timoner hit the doc scene like Layne Staley hit the heroin a long painful road that appeared fast and out of nowhere.
Timoner's seven-year-in-the-making-rock-doc DIG! won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize a few years ago and put her on the "scene" and this time around she's taken her study of Anton Newcombe's brainwashing abilities (on himself and those around him) and harnessed some of those themes in her new documentary film called JOIN US.
JOIN US reveals America is the world's breeding ground for Cults and religious fanatics, and JOIN US is a documentary that follows a group of individuals trying to separate themselves from this troubled reality. Stirring, emotional, and raw JOIN US peeks inside the controversial and "hush-hush" world of religion and cults."