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752 Ratings

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Directed by Alex Gibney
United States, 2015


Following Mea Maxima Culpa, his investigation into the Catholic Church, Academy Award-winner Alex Gibney turns his gaze to Scientology in Going Clear, based on the book of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright.

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Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief Directed by Alex Gibney

Awards & Festivals

Village Voice Film Poll

2015 | Nominee: Best Documentary

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2015 | Nominee: Best Documentary

Directors Guild of America

2016 | Nominee: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

Writers Guild of America

2016 | Winner: Best Documentary Screenplay (Screen)

Overall, the presentation of Scientology’s first three decades is sketchy and impressionistic, although the archive footage of Hubbard – including one ‘off-the-record’ audio outtake from the BBC – is undeniably fascinating.
June 27, 2015
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If you can dream up something weird that Scientology may have devised to hogtie its membership, chances are they’ve beaten you to it. The entire movement is an ocean of weirdness, so much so that a feature-length documentary has a job on its hands picking out the salient examples… For Gibney, fear is the glue holding the whole edifice together. The film’s strongest assault is on Miscavige himself, whom it presents as physically and mentally abusive towards his own staff.
June 26, 2015
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If some of the film’s revelations have already surfaced online and through other sources, Going Clear distinguishes itself by tying that material into a coherent framework that provides a concise, scholarly context within which Scientology can be understood as a real system of beliefs, with roots in a specific time and place.
March 26, 2015
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