It’s a bizarre and shocking, yet strangely fascinating documentary, about a narcissistic, controlling and charismatic man and the ongoing effects on his large family.  Using news photos and clips, Pray manages to convey why people were so enamored with the Pasokowitzes.  Yet, as the film evolves, we see just how destructive—and how very abusive—their leader was.  One son, who works as a cook, laments that without a high school education, he could never attend med school like his father.  Others talk about never fitting in, not having friends, missing out on memories like prom.  Although many seem to have successful marriages, they still struggle relating to one another and have suffered from ongoing estrangements.  The reunion at the end of the film feels forced.

It’s an entertaining and colorful illustration about the wages of selfishness and control, and the way that the illusion of freedom passes down its lying legacy from one generation to another.

DVD EXTRAS:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Previews

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Several scenes with drug use (pot smoking), drinking and cigarette smoking.
  • Language/Profanity:  Numerous very strong profanities and obscenities, including extremely crude references to sex and comparisons between God and the sex act.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity:  Graphic and crude discussions about promiscuous premarital sex, marital sex and how sexual freedom is the answer to the world’s problems.  Adult children discuss sexual trauma of watching parents have sex in front of them, night after night.  A mother discusses her sexual advice to her teenage children, including protocol about one-night stands.
  • Violence:  Adult children discuss father beating and controlling them.