Two VICE reporters - Sam and Jake - and a photographer Patrick head to the remote community of Eden Parish where Patrick’s drug addict sister Caroline has gone to live. The Eden Parish compound is in an unnamed foreign country and it has unfriendly armed guards. The ugly American trio document Eden Parish as the leader Father makes broadcasts over loud speakers. Is Eden Parish a holiday camp from hell they ask as they film women in hot pants, scared looking children and devout old people who all big up Father.
The reporters question if the godly technology free hippie lifestyle is sustainable. Creepiness builds. Jake wears a Rambo style headband, looks like Josh Brolin and is an ass. Sam the bearded hipster whines about no phone signal. Patrick vanishes. Father is a fat old guy who dresses like Kim-Jung Il and talks in anthemia fashion. His folksy down home Dr Phil style talk moves the crowd. His dictums know how to elicit a response and Sam is caught unguarded by this.
Sam and Josh question motives and Caroline’s sobriety. Josh doesn’t really care. Caroline freaks out. Gunfire, violence, ridiculous fake blood and wrongness ensue. Things get incredibly disturbing and Sam and Josh never pause to wonder if they caused this. This was very good even if you do wonder who is filming at times.
“This is nothing at all like the hippie commune we were expecting.”
“Father had a vision and he was of course right. And, uh, we built heaven here on Earth.”
“This is my family now.”
“I’d die before I go back.”
“Did she just call us outsiders?”
“They were born outcasts.”
“The guns we use to protect the borders.”
“One must not question that’s best for the Parish.”
“You’re in paradise, act like it.”
“Father will not let us leave.”
“They’re brainwashed and don’t even know it. They’ll do anything he asks.”
“They can’t leave!”
“Why are we chasing him?”
“Drink it up.”
“This was my home!”
“You should never have come here.”
“Why couldn’t you leave us alone?”