The story of cult leader Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre is one of the most horrific in recent American history. Now, 40 years after the the mass murders and suicides that claimed the lives of more than 900 people in northwest Guyana, SundanceTV is airing a two-part docuseries called Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle, which premieres Saturday, Nov. 17, and concludes the following night.
Based on investigative journalist Jeff Guinn’s book The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple and featuring both archival footage and new interviews, the show details Jones’s transformation from a charismatic preacher and champion of civil rights into an egomaniacal demagogue who led hundreds to take their own lives — both willingly and forcibly.
SundanceTV is also releasing video vignettes delving deeper into Jones’ story, including one titled “Raising a Madman” that examines how he may have been wired for megalomania from an early age.
The docuseries is executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way, Stephen David of Stephen David Entertainment, and Guinn. The show is directed by Shan Nicholson.
Watch the “Raising a Madman” vignette exclusively above.