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Amy Berg Is Seriously Worried About What Warren Jeffs Might Do Next

Vanity Fair | Oscar-nominated documentarian Amy Berg is not the type to shy away from dark subject matter. Her films have probed priestly pedophilia, child murder, casting-couch molestation in Hollywood, and, now, the monumentally icky case of Warren Jeffs, the Utah religious-sect leader convicted in 2011 of sexually abusing under-age female members of his flock. “I’m getting such a bad reputation,” Berg says with a rueful laugh, before pointing out that she also has a big Janis Joplin documentary in the pipeline.
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Amy Berg on ‘Prophet’s Prey’ and ‘An Open Secret’

Filmmaker Amy Berg's new documentary Prophet's Prey examines the FLDS church and their now-imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs. This breakaway, fundamentalist sect of the Mormon Church forces girls as young as 12 into polygamous marriages. Berg shares how she shot the film in hostile territory, and how she hopes the doc can potentially change lives.
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Review: ‘Prophet’s Prey’: The true story of Warren Jeffs plays like horror

Entertainment Sun Times | Among the many good points to “Prophet’s Prey,” a new documentary about polygamist cult leader Warren Jeffs, is that its celebrity connections don’t get in the way of the story being told. Author Jon Krakauer, of “Into the Wild” fame, gets his share of screen time. He wrote about the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in his 2003 book “Under the Banner of Heaven.” That was shortly after Jeffs took the reins of the Mormon splinter group (founded 1929) from his father, church president (and therefore prophet) Rulon Jeffs, but before the new patriarch took an already isolated community and dragged it further from modernity.
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Review: New Documentary Shows The Megalomaniacal Tyranny Of Warren Jeffs

Chicagoist | A compelling portrait of megalomania and abuse, the documentary Prophet's Prey is also a kind of tribute to dogged journalism—the type that is increasingly hard to find as newspapers crumble and much of the media puts opining ahead of hard facts. Were it not for private investigator and author Sam Brower, acclaimed non-fiction writer Jon Krakauer, and even the contributions of a small town Texas newspaper editor, the loathsome crimes of Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs might have gone unpunished. Victims did come forward, and their bravery should not be undervalued
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Review: Director Amy Berg’s latest starts off as a documentary and ends up feeling like a horror story.

Washington City Paper | Prophet’s Prey starts off as a documentary and ends up feeling like a horror story. Amy Berg’s film about Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is a portrait of a loathsome man who, though imprisoned, still maintains power over his flock. His message to his followers: If he’s still locked up, then they aren’t praying hard enough.
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Review: ‘Prophet’s Prey’ a harrowing chronicle of Warren Jeffs’ abuse

Salt Lake Tribune | For those of us in Utah who follow the news, hearing the name Warren Jeffs may cause some eye-rolling, a shrug of the shoulders and a comment like, "What's that creepy guy done this time?" We in Utah have grown inured to Jeffs' story, of his dominance over his followers down on the Utah-Arizona border and the conviction on rape-related charges that landed him in a federal prison. Hearing that story retold by an outsider, as the acclaimed documentarian Amy Berg does in "Prophet's Prey," is a jolting reminder of the extent of Jeffs' heinous acts — and how even prison hasn't stopped him from holding…
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Nothing Can Stop Mormon Cult Leader Warren Jeffs

Two of Warren Jeffs’s children say he molested them. But the FLDS Church won’t listen, and doesn’t care. Former FBI’s Most Wanted fugitive Warren Jeffs is serving a life sentence for the aggravated sexual assault of children, but his followers in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) still believe he speaks for God. If history repeats itself, new allegations of sexual abuse from two of Jeffs’s children, airing Wednesday night on CNN’s This is Life, won’t change that. Private investigator Sam Brower, author of the 2011 book Prophet’s Prey, has been investigating the FLDS for over a decade. He says that most FLDS adherents won’t see…
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Review: ‘Prophet’s Prey’ targets FLDS leader Warren Jeffs

AZ Central | Among the many good points to “Prophet’s Prey,” a new documentary about polygamist cult leader Warren Jeffs, is that its celebrity connections don’t get in the way of the story being told. Author Jon Krakauer, of “Into the Wild” fame, gets his share of screen time. He wrote about the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in his 2003 book “Under the Banner of Heaven.” That was shortly after Jeffs took the reins of the Mormon splinter group (founded 1929) from his father, church president (and therefore prophet) Rulon Jeffs, but before the new patriarch took an already isolated community and dragged it further from modernity.…
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Review: Prophet’s Prey

New City Film | Amy Berg’s comprehensive “Prophet’s Prey” is readily the most disturbing documentary I saw at Sundance 2015, and that would have been even without a mild acquaintance with Mormonism and its cult offshoots, such as Warren Jeffs’ FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints). Jeffs, to cut to the chase, is a monstrous madman and exploiter of the flesh. He’s also a canny financial thinker, establishing industries to sustain the rein of himself and his family (including a company subcontracted to manufacture the “O” rings that detonated the Challenger space shuttle).
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Review: Movies ‘Prophet’s Prey’ feels urgent yet at times proves difficult to watch

Washington Post |There is some comfort to be taken in the fact that the odious figure at the center of “Prophet’s Prey,” Amy Berg’s deeply disturbing documentary about polygamist cult leader Warren Jeffs, is now behind bars. Jeffs’s offenses, as meticulously laid out by Berg, include child molestation, rape, financial chicanery, mind control and, it is strongly suggested, the murder of his father, Rulon Jeffs, who previously had led the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
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Review: ‘Prophet’s Prey’ takes chilling look at polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs

Los Angeles Times | Using longtime FLDS investigator Sam Brower and "Under the Banner of Heaven" author Jon Krakauer as on-camera guides into the secretive world of polygamous sects, as well as interviews with former church members, Berg lays down a narrative of warped religious authority and patriarchal abuse every bit as chilling as her pedophile priest exposé, "Deliver Us From Evil."  We learn of Jeffs' beginnings as the scheming heir to self-proclaimed prophet Rulon Jeffs and the autocratic methods he used to control his flock and sanction the rape of young girls. Berg's film also tells the gripping story behind Jeffs' capture, trial and incarceration.
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Review: Prophet’s Prey

Cinemacy | It is ironic that Berg pairs beautiful sweeping ariel shots of the FLDS mountainous compound with the full sound of a children’s choir singing hymns. These moments could be taken from a fairy tale, an innocent scene born out of purity. However what looks like paradise from above is in fact a mirage; one step into the reality of this scene and into the day to day life of a Warren Jeff’s follower reveals a world void of joy, happiness, and individuality. Dustin Lance Black, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and Regina Scully are a few of the powerful forces that serve as executive producers, while music by Warren Ellis…
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Wall Street Journal : ‘Prophet’s Prey’ Review: A Predator and His Flock

Wall Street Journal | A new documentary revisits the notorious career of Warren Jeffs, whose polygamous practices as the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints often included the abuse of underage girls. As horror upon horror unfolds in “Prophet’s Prey,” Amy Berg’s shocking documentary about the mad polygamist Warren Jeffs and his followers, one may marvel, in horror, at the elaborate forms that deviancy can take.
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‘Prophet’s Prey’ Film Review: This American Horror Story Is All Too Real

TruthDig | ...throngs of heathen moviegoers can be schooled, and “Prophet’s Prey” sends an urgent distress signal to the outside world. It speaks for those still inside, in part through the testimonies of former believers and current apostates. Whether their combined efforts will help the cause of mass liberation, spark a Waco-esque implosion, or maybe just draw widespread critical acclaim and kudos for the filmmakers, remains to be seen.  
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The Fundamentalist Cult Warren Jeffs Built: An Interview With Prophet’s Prey Director Amy Berg

Gawker | Berg, despite not having been brought up in any sort of religious environment, has become known for her portrayal of the darker side of it. I was able to speak to Berg about her documentary on the phone last week. She told me, “I have always been bothered by systemic abuse, whether religious or not. I’m a storyteller first and I’m really happy that some of my films have been able to offer change for those who need it.
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“Prophet’s Prey”: Inside a polygamist cult

CBS News | To those who fled the polygamous religious sect led by Warren Jeffs, their lives had been a living hell, in which young girls were raped, all material wealth was diverted to the leader, and all contact with the outside world was banned. The head of the breakaway Mormon Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), which had set up a community in the isolated mountains on the Utah-Arizona border, portrayed himself as a prophet who spoke God's law on Earth. And anyone who was deemed to be a threat to Jeffs was banished.
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Polygamist Warren Steed Jeffs (C) is flanked by Las Vegas Metro Police SWAT officers during an extradition hearing at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, in this August 31, 2006 file photograph. The attorneys general of Utah and Arizona said in separate interviews they had no intention of prosecuting polygamists unless they commit other crimes such as taking underage brides -- a practice authorities said was rampant in a Utah-Arizona border community run by Warren Jeffs before his arrest in August. Picture taken August 31, 2006. To match feature MORMONS/POLYGAMY.    REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus/Handout/Files   (UNITED STATES).  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. - RTR1QQHV

America’s little-known ISIS: The fundamentalist Mormon sect that blends polygamy, child rape and organized crime

Salon | Over the past century or more, there have been quite a few breakaway Mormon sects scattered across rural North America, small groups led by self-appointed prophets who rejected the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ decision to disavow Brigham Young’s famous doctrine of “plural marriage” in the 1890s. For the most part these splinter sects have been left alone, even (or especially) in a place like Utah, where the mainstream Mormon Church still dominates the political and cultural landscape. In the larger picture of American society and religion, such fundamentalist Mormon groups have been nothing more than tiny, stagnant backwaters of belief. All of them, that is,…
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Amy Berg’s Prophet’s Prey Takes on Warren Jeffs’s Insidious Fundamentalist Church

Vulture | Jeffs was more than a false prophet and a tyrant; he was also a rapist who sexually abused young girls and boys at his church and at the school he founded and ran...Jeffs preached about the end times, and he made sure that his congregants knew that if they strayed in the slightest, they would be damned. Offenses included interacting with people not in the FLDS, or looking at outside media.
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Prophet’s Prey Is the Latest Incendiary Exposé of a Religious Sect

Vogue | It’s been the year of incendiary documentaries on cultish religions. First came HBO’s exposé on Scientology, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, from Alex Gibney. Now comes Amy Berg’s Prophet’s Prey, a new film that uncovers the deeply unsettling tactics of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and its current leader, Warren Jeffs.  
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Flavorwire Mentions Prophet’s Prey

Flavorwire | "Amy Berg’s harrowing documentary Prophet’s Prey spotlights the FLDS, the fundamentalist sect of the Church of Latter Day Saints, led by polygamist, child molester, and “prophet” Warren Jeffs. Drawing extensively on not only testimony from escaped survivors but Jeffs’ own disturbing recordings and videos, this is a tale of “obedience” and belief that will get under your skin, and stay there. Here’s what we wrote about it at Sundance. (In limited release, in advance of airings on Showtime next month.)"
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Review: Prophet’s Prey (Rogert Ebert.com)

Roger Ebert | Documentary filmmaking has a habit of reminding us of a truth that many would like to ignore: monsters are very real. As children, we’re told by our parents that boogeymen don’t exist and that most people are inherently good. Both of these things are true, but we often convince ourselves that true evil is something of fiction. “Prophet’s Prey,” the latest documentary from Amy Berg (“Deliver Us From Evil”), reminds us that there is unimaginable horror in this world, often perpetrated in the name of religion and under the banner of salvation
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Review: ‘Prophet’s Prey,’ a Documentary About Mormon Fundamentalists

New York Times | The chief attraction of Colorado City, or so it would seem from the brief entry on the website of the Arizona Office of Tourism, isn’t Colorado City but the “nearby scenic attractions” that include the Vermilion and Shinarump Cliffs. Set at the base of ravishing red cliff mountains, the city and its twin, Hildale, Utah, look straight out of Canaan.
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Review: Preying on the Faithful – Amy Berg’s new documentary exposes fundamentalist Mormon cult leader Warren Jeffs

Film Journal | "Sam's a hero," Berg says. "He's still working on this full time. He gets calls in the middle of the night and drives about three hours to Colorado City, kicking down doors to make sure people are safe. We're able to direct them to local charities who help house and clothe and feed women who are escaping." The church's women and children are fleeing widespread sexual abuse, extreme poverty, and a hierarchy that prohibits contact with the outside world. The culture of secrecy surrounding the sect made it difficult for Berg to document its activities.
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Review: Amy Berg and Lost Voices Unearthed

Paste Magazine | Paste had a chance to chat with the filmmaker about the untold story behind Warren Jeffs. For her, it was about “the brainwashing, the child abuse, the systemic failures of this group, the fact that Jeffs is still in prison and leading thousands of people” and the “women that didn’t have a strong voice in this group.” Berg reveals how she accessed the FLDS community, dealing with the “God Squad” and deciding when she was being exploitive as opposed to supportive with her subjects.
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‘Prophet’s Prey’ exposes Warren Jeffs, FLDS church

Dixie Sun News | Attorney General Sean Reyes, St. George Mayor Jon Pike and hundreds of citizens gathered to watch “Prophet’s Prey,” a film based on the bestselling book by Sam Brower, a private investigator and producer. The evening included a benefit dinner and a question and answer session.“[Brower] is John Wayne for real— even if there are no cameras,” Tuckett said. “He lives and embodies the role of a courageous enforcer of the law and rights of human dignity, and we are so proud to have his film.”
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FLDS exiles praise documentary film on prophet’s abuses

The Spectrum | Ben Thomas, a former work manager for Hildale’s Phaze Concrete, watched with some discomfort Friday night as he was projected on the big screen at Springdale’s O.C. Tanner Amphitheater during the DOCUTAH film festival’s premiere showing of “Prophet’s Prey,” a documentary on the local polygamist community. “I thought it went really well. … It was really well done,” Thomas said prior to being invited onstage at the film’s close for a question and answer panel. (more…)
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DocUtah Screens Prophet’s Prey; Film Chronicles Warren Jeffs’ FLDS Abuse of Power

DOC Utah | Dixie State University and the DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival™ today announced that it will screen Prophet’s Prey at the O.C. Tanner Amphitheater in Springdale, UT on September 11 at 8 P.M. The film, based on the New York Times Best Seller of the same name by Private Investigator Sam Brower, chronicles his ten year investigation into the Mormon Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and the abuse of power by FLDS leader Warren Jeffs in the nearby towns of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale in Southern Utah where it all started.
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Evidence: Warren Jeffs with two child brides

EW – Horrifying polygamist preacher doc Prophet’s Prey — Watch the trailer

Entertainment Weekly | In 2001, polygamist Warren Jeffs was sentenced in a Texas court to life in prison plus 20 years for sexually assaulting two women he said were his “spiritual wives.” A new documentary called Prophet’s Prey details the story of Jeffs, a former president of Mormon fundamentalist denomination The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and, according to the official synopsis, examines how he “bridged the gap between sister wives and ecclesiastically-justified rape.”
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Evidence: Child bride photo

Watch: New Trailer For Amy Berg’s Powerful Polygamy & Mormonism Doc ‘Prophet’s Prey’

The Playlist | Well, this can probably be filed under “Potentially Fascinating Premise About Deeply Evil Shit That I Hope Never Happens To Me Or Anyone I Love.” Like Andrew Jarecki’s divisive miniseries “The Jinx,” Amy Berg’s new film “Prophet’s Prey” is preoccupied with a very specific kind of American monster. The creep focused on in Berg’s newest film is one Warren Jeffs, former president of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints, the most prominent polygamous Mormon sect in North America, who was eventually convicted of two counts of sexual assault against a pair of underage girls and then subsequently sentenced to life in prison.
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Review: Sundance Film Review: ‘Prophet’s Prey’

Variety | Amy Berg delivers a gripping, authoritative account of abuses within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Prophet’s Prey,” is a gripping, authoritative account of the myriad abuses of Warren Jeffs, the currently incarcerated leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Berg’s interviews with past members of the polygamy-practicing Mormon denomination make for damning testimony, but the lasting power of “Prey” is its grim insight into the mentality of the deceived, and its despairing recognition that spiritual and psychological bondage doesn’t end simply by putting a monster behind bars.  
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Showtime to Release ‘Listen to Me Marlon’ and ‘Prophet’s Prey’ in Theaters

Hollywood Reporter | Under its new Showtime Documentary Films banner, the cable service will give the two docs theatrical runs, which will make them eligible for Oscar consideration.Showtime is positioning itself as a potential player in the best documentary Oscar race by announcing Tuesday that it will release two docs theatrically — Listen to Me Marlon and Prophet’s Prey — under the newly created Showtime Documentary Films banner.
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Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #4: Amy Berg Explores Brainwashing and Fear in ‘Prophet’s Prey’

Indiewire | What it's really about: "Prophet's Prey" is REALLY about the powerful operatives: brainwashing and fear. The film shows how these tactics can destroy all freedoms and mold a person into a robot. It is about the fundamental issues surrounding dictatorial leadership and how oddly they juxtapose with modern life. And the film shows how two heroes travel to ends of the country helping to track down Jeffs after he disappeared into thin air.
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Sundance Docs ‘Going Clear’ and ‘Prophet’s Prey’ Ask: Religion or Cult?

PARK CITY, UT: Late in Prophet’s Prey, Amy Berg’s provocative and powerful documentary case against FLDS church head Warren Jeffs, author Jon Krakauer says this about the church’s continued dedication to a man who is clearly a monster: “It speaks to something disturbing about human nature. Once you believe something, it’s very, very difficult to give that up completely.”
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Review: Collider – Prophet’s Prey

Collider | This year at Sundance, I have seen four movies about the disturbing power of authority to create obedience.  Going Clear uses weird mythology, extortion and blackmail to expand its power.  Experimenter shows the power of coercing an individual to follow violent orders while The Stanford Prison Experiment shows how specific tactics easily disrupt and rearrange social dynamics.  Prophet’s Preyis the final film I saw that explores the effects of authority and obedience, and it’s not only disturbing, but also by far the most sickening.
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Sundance Diary – Day 5: ‘True Story,’ ‘Prophet’s Prey,’ …

Christianity Today | The film is really a history of Jeffs, chronicling his rise to power and his terrible abuses, particularly child sexual abuse as he married girls as young as twelve. A number of his relatives—and wife #65—talked to Berg for the film, too. It's more or less a real-life horror film. It's hard to watch. And even harder to watch in a crowd of Utahns, some of whom have undoubtedly been touched by the incidents far more than those of us who have flown in from the coasts.
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Sundance – ‘Prophet’s Prey’ – Abuse and Impunity

Blouinartinfo | In the southern edge of Utah, straddling the Arizona border, is a place called Short Creek, where you’ll thousands of members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You will also find plenty of elected officials and agents of law enforcement who enabled these religious folks to live without too many restrictions on their practices of polygamy and exploitation of women and the young.
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Evidence: Child bride gives birth

Review: PROPHET’S PREY: Nauseating Abuse Bound To Repeat Itself [SFF 2015]

You’ve seen the headlines, you’ve heard the myths; this is the real, unfiltered, behind-the-scenes view of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its leader/prophet Warren Jeffs. Director Amy Berg (Deliver Us From Evil), together with Sam Bower, the author of the book by the same name, and Jon Krakauer, author of Under the Banner of Heaven, gains stunning access to those who were once part of the FLDS Church and the places in which unspeakable evil was perpetrated on the most innocent among us: children.  
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