Title: In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal
Genre: Crime | Documentary |
Seasons: 1 |
Runtime: 389 min
Director: Jo Seong-hyeon
Starring: Lee Jae-Rock, Jeong Myeon-seok, Park Soon-Ja
DOING IT ALL FOR FALSE PROPHECY
Netflix’s recently released Korean docuseries In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal doesn’t hold back the punches. Safe to say it’s not suitable to watch for children due to the mature content. It’s an illuminated series taking a deep dive into four religious and spectacle criminal cults that thrive in rape, adultery, molesting and murder.
The series intercut between archive photographs, aiding animation, reenactments, and interviews. The interview, some of them are very emotional and detail assault in very graphic detail. Especially the first three episodes that depict the cult called JMS, which had women followers. Another cult leader, calling himself the very being of God and who has the power of God, redeem himself through other episodes. They are less bone-dry yet thrilling when mentioning the cases of 32 dead bodies hanging from the roof. One interviewee denies that it’s murder and says it’s a collective suicide case. A different one says it’s a mass murder of 28 women and 4 men. According to the series, it leaves more questions than answers at this point. Also, an aunt killed her nephew.
I try actively stay away from series whose producers interfere with the interviews. The producer of this series is not omission for that specific rule. But it’s only to clarify details revealed by the victims, which I can tolerate. There’s enough variation of the victims’ stories told, to make it engaging even at the end of a 6.5 hours series.
Bear in mind that the subject is provocative, it’s prolonged and graphic. Yes, it’s even entertaining. The editing is quick and doesn’t linger in the same scene, making the hours less taunting. We got the emotional tab, the investigative perspective and the visual storytelling shown in the series to make it meaningful. The first episode especially is painful to watch but more knowledge of this subject might help others.
Then we’ve got the music. At some point, it fits with the story, elevates it and makes it even more dramatic. At other points, there’s a variation of hard-rock, pop music and action soundtrack which comes off as distracting. Thankfully, it doesn’t have a voice-over. Instead, we have all victims telling their stories. As the series progresses, there are some elements that go on repeat and some reveal something new and taunting. Things that return in this series are sex and murder. Surprisingly, the cinematography is innovative to make it thrilling enough for such a long series to follow. Overall, it’s not for everyone. It’s having a variation of quality and some repetition with some different perspectives.