‘The Synanon Fix’ Documentarians Unpack the History of the Infamous Rehab Turned Cult

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The phrase “not an obvious cult” doesn’t really get thrown around too much. Something either is a cult, or isn’t. And yet .. .there always seems to be some sort of grey area, especially when it comes to the self-help realm.

The filmmakers behind four-part docuseries “The Synanon Fix” revealed during the IndieWire Studio at Sundance, presented by Dropbox, that the infamous Santa Monica facility did in fact help hundreds of people before it descended into unhinged mayhem. The series debuted in the episodic section at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.

“Part of what drew us to the story was it wasn’t an obvious cult,” director/producer Rory Kennedy told IndieWire’s Ryan Lattanzio. “Some people consider it a cult, some people don’t, and the fact that it has its roots starting as this drug treatment program in Santa Monica in 1958 … it was enormously innovative and forward-thinking.”

Content retrieved from: https://www.indiewire.com/video/the-synanon-fix-documentarian-why-was-not-obvious-cult-1234948141/.

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