HBO is bringing back “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” to theatrical audiences, attributing the move to popular demand. Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney’s acclaimed documentary will open for limited release on Sept. 25.
HBO’s film is one of its most viewed documentaries, having been seen by more than eight million people since debuting this past spring. It’s also been the subject of controversy since premiering at Sundance in January, and was condemned by the Church of Scientology.
The Arclight Cinema chain will show “Going Clear” in California, Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, Texas and a select few other theaters around the country.
“Going Clear” follows eight former members of the Church of Scientology — whose most prominent adherents include A-list Hollywood celebrities like Tom Cruise — and details their experiences within the organization and what they are willing to do in its name. It also highlights the Church’s origins from its conception by L. Ron Hubbard to its surge in popularity in Hollywood.
The film boasts a series of shocking revelations by former insiders, including high-ranking members like acclaimed director and screenwriter Paul Haggis (“Crash”), as they recall a systematic history of abuse and betrayal committed by Church officials.
“Going Clear” is based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright. The documentary was produced by Gibney, Wright and Kristen Vaurio.