Jan 22, 2024

'The Synanon Fix' and the slippery slope of a cult mentality

Leslie Thatcher
January 22, 2024

A still from "The Synanon Fix" by Rory Kennedy, an official selection of the Episodic Program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.

Exploring the rise and fall of the Synanon organization — through the eyes of the members who lived it — from its early days as a groundbreaking drug rehabilitation program to its later descent into what many consider a cult.

Rory Kennedy- Director of 'The Synanon Fix'

Rory Kennedy, whose intuitive yet methodical nonfiction storytelling style demonstrated in Sundance Film Festival projects includes "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" (2007), "Last Days in Vietnam" (2014), and "Downfall: The Case Against Boeing" (2022), returns with her signature commitment to first-person perspectives in "The Synanon Fix." Former members recollect the hope and community the breakthrough treatment center and its dynamic founder initially provided, before the decades long transition to an organization centered on control and violence. Compellingly interspersed with newly found footage, this film presents authentic insights that transcend the presentation of an experiment gone horrifically awry, crafted as a cultural touchstone of charismatic leaders and vulnerable followers.



No comments: