Last weekend we went to see "Sons of Perdition" at the Tower Theater, and I was so touched by the movie that I can't stop thinking about it. Sons is a documentary that follows three members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), and documents their journey as they escape from the community which has trapped them and countless others. The FLDS community is led by Warren Jeffs, who is a sadistic, narcissistic, and completely disgusting person. One google search will lead you to current tales of his indictments on charges of atrocious crimes such as child rape. The movie features a picture of a pregnant thirteen year old girl from the community, which caused any neutral feelings on the issue to be quickly dispelled. Any group that condones the practice of rape is deplorable, and I hope Warren Jeffs spends his life in prison fighting off attackers.
Tyler Measom (Director) does a fantastic job of introducing Bruce, Joe, and Sam, three boys who escape from Colorado City, Arizona. The documentary highlights their story of failed escape attempts, loneliness, drugs, and eventual success. I literally can't put it into words how touching this movie was. Watching the boys experience something as simple as Mother's Day is astounding; they literally have no concept of the outside world. One of the scenes shows the young men in The Cathedral of the Madeleine in downtown SLC. One boy asks, "So, Catholics believe in Jesus?" When someone provides an answer in the affirmative he innocently responds, "sweet." Such an innocent question, asked in earnest naivete immediately opens your heart to the young men (while making you want to punch their parents for sheltering them.)
Each year boys are exiled from the community in Colorado City, or "The Crick," and they have no money, no education, and nowhere to go. Public education was banned when Warren Jeffs took the community over, and boys that are forced out of the area are barely literate, and can't find a way to get into high school, because they don't have permanent addresses or previous education. Depriving a child of education is one of the worst abuses that a parent can put them through, and the entire community should be ashamed of themselves.
We were lucky enough to go to a screening that ended with a Q&A session with the director, and the three boys. The young men were met with a standing ovation from the crowd; everyone should be as brave as these young men. Knowing that they wanted to achieve more out of life, they left their friends and family to embark on an amazing and terrifying journey. They walked into a world that they had been taught was filled with sin and the presence of the devil. They went through more struggle with their decision to leave than most of us will ever know in a lifetime. After seeing this movie I want to go to St. George, Utah (where most of the boys end up,) and adopt a fifteen year old...I am not joking.
I'm pleading with all of my heart that you go to see this movie! You will not be disappointed, and this issue is extremely prevalent for all of my friends in Utah because we have the gift of proximity when it comes to helping these exiles.