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'Holy Hell' documents how LA's Buddhafield community turned cult

A screen grab from the movie trailer
A screen grab from the movie trailer "Holy Hell."

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In 1985, Will Allen became a member of The Buddhafield, a Los Angeles area spiritual community.

A recent film school graduate, Allen began to chronicle the group’s activities that centered on their leader, a mysterious individual they called The Teacher, or Michel. Over time, the group’s dark side began to surface, until finally, a shocking allegation against The Teacher tore the group apart – all in front of Allen’s camera.

Packed with archival video of 1980s Los Angeles, "Holy Hell" is an intimate, insider look at what transformed a spiritual group into something sordid.

The movie is opening this weekend at Laemmle’s Monica Film Center, Laemmle’s Playhouse in Pasadena, and Laemmle’s Claremont.

Video: Holy Hell trailer


Will Allen, Filmmaker of “Holy Hell” documentary; former member of The Buddhafield