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Sure, you've heard of those cult members in the '70s who drank cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. But how much do you really know about their freaky leader, Jim Jones?

Stanley Nelson's well-researched doc reveals the human side of the madman, how an outcast white kid from Indiana felt an early connection to the black community and the Pentecostal church "family." Establishing himself as a charismatic preacher—in trademark shades—Jones advocated racial equality and built an organization that clothed, fed and housed its predominantly black congregation.

As Peoples Temple expanded, Jones moved the base to California, where he became a powerful political player. In 1977, he constructed his "utopian" Jonestown in the remote jungles of Guyana, South America.

But then allegations of Jones' bizarre behavior began to surface—drug use, paranoia and verbal, physical and sexual abuse of members. Yikes. At the urging of defectors and concerned relatives, a U.S. congressman traveled to Guyana to investigate. Within 24 hours of his arrival, the congressman was shot dead and more than 900 Temple members committed suicide.

A sobering story of blind faith and deadly betrayal, Jonestown boasts rare footage (including Jones' "faith healings") and modern-day interviews with Temple survivors who escaped after seeing loved ones die.

The film also includes actual audio recordings of Jones urging followers, along with their young children, to drink poison "to protest the conditions of an inhumane world." It's chilling—and compelling.