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The Manson Family * Jim van Bebber * 2003

In 1996 a documentary is made about Charles Manson, his family and the murders. The maker wants the story of the family members and not that of Manson. The film mostly contains of interviews and footage (which I suppose none are genuine) and here and there some strange parts playing in the present. What you get to see is a hippie-group living on a range, adoring their Messiah (Manson) and having sex all the time. When Manson gets frustrated over some issues, his ideas get less harmonious, as a matter of fact pretty dark and sinister and the group follows him all the way until they start to murder people. These well-known ingredients are the foundation to built a film with a lot of sex and bloody murder scenes towards the end. Overall the film looks like a documentary, but the end is not for people with faint hearts. I don’t know how acurate and close to the truth this film is. From what I know of the case, I guess this comes pretty close, but I suppose there are some dramatisations and exaggerations here and there. The film is not particularly good, especially the scenes in the present (that do show some of that weird ‘Manson cult’ that came up though) are rather out of place. If the story is correct, the film could act as a documentary, as a film it is nothing really special.

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