Prophet's Prey | Chicago Reader

Prophet's Prey

102 minutes 2015

Amy Berg made an impressive debut with Deliver Us From Evil (2006), her Oscar-nominated exposé of a pedophile priest. This documentary, her fifth, treads similar ground, detailing the crimes of fundamentalist Mormon leader Warren Jeffs, and you'd better believe there are plenty of ominous tones on the soundtrack (courtesy of Nick Cave). Jeffs allegedly maintained a harem of 70 wives, some of them child brides, before sexual assault charges landed him on the FBI's most-wanted list; after several trials he was finally convicted in 2011 and sentenced to life-plus-20. His story was brought to Berg by private investigator Sam Brower and author Jon Krakauer, who monopolize the movie's talking-head testimony. Their ownership of the story eats into Berg's authority, and the movie slows down near the end, even as the action is heating up. But Berg has a secret weapon in the sermons Jeffs recorded for his flock: his bland, droning voice epitomizes the banality of evil.

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