Sons of Perdition co-directors Jennilyn Merten and Tyler Measom had better mend their ways. According to Warren Jeffs, filmmakers and musicians are “the most filthy, immoral, adulterous people on the face of the earth.” Jeffs is the villain whose presence lurks over this doc—he’s a self-proclaimed prophet and former leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, now serving 10 to life in Utah for sexual crimes. The film follows a group of teenagers who fled the religious community—and, in turn, were no longer allowed to see their families and promised eternal damnation, to boot—to escape what one boy called “modern-day slavery.” Besides an iron-first policy toward hobbies, schools, and pets (none are allowed) and frequent abuse (“To them it would have been better for me to die than to leave,” says one former church member), the FLDS experience also includes worshipping at the altar of polygamy. Jeffs has several dozen wives and allows men to marry underage girls. (Studio photos of gray-haired dudes kissing tweens are repulsive.) The kids followed here crash on couches and consider adoption in order to attend a real school, though mostly they rely on state programs and blue-collar work as they fumble their way toward freedom. It’s depressing stuff, but what these ex-FLDS members lack in education and social skills, they make up for in intelligence and drive. As one says of leaving: “You stare Satan in the face and say, ‘I don’t give a fuck anymore.’”
At 10 p.m. at AFI Silver Theater 1; also on Saturday, June 26, at 9:30 p.m. at AFI Silver Theater 2.