Now screening at Brooklyn’s IndieScreen through Sunday, May 15: SONS OF PERDITION
Jennilyn Merten and Tyler Measom’s absorbing exploration of the lives of teen exiles from the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had its world premiere at Tribeca last year, and in the past year has screened at more than thirty other festivals and series, including Silverdocs, Austin, Sheffield, IDFA, Traverse City, and the Independent Film Festival Boston. As part of its theatrical run, it’s back in NYC, with other engagements lined up through the summer. It will have its broadcast premiere as part of OWN’s Documentary Club in mid-June.
The film follows a group of boys (the primary subjects of the film, though there are girls along the periphery as well) who all grew up in “The Crick,” an FLDS stronghold in Colorado City, AZ. They have been banished from that community, becoming cast offs from their Heavenly Father’s salvation, and not allowed to see family members. While the revel in newfound freedoms – including self-expression through clothing, hairstyles, and music – their sheltered upbringing means they know little about secular society, and it’s only through the charity of people like wealthy patron Jeremy Johnson and his wife that they have a place to stay, at least until their self-destructiveness causes trouble there too. They try to rescue family members, but the control exerted by their society almost always means that such attempts are doomed to failure. By narrowing their focus on a small group of boys’ stories, Merten and Measom construct more of a character study than a full-fledged examination of the FLDS – they’re not making a definitive exposé, but instead following these boys as they try to make sense of their new lives and deal with the traumas of their pasts, without the support of the families who have until now been the center pillars of their strange, segregated world.
Brooklyn-based Merten is scheduled to be in attendance for Q&As.