Grab your popcorn and your Kool-Aid

Jonestown_1 Jonestown. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Nearly 30 years after the “revolutionary suicide” of 900 cultists in Guyana, your answer may still be Kool-Aid. And that no doubt puts a frowny face on the folks at Kraft Foods, who want you to make friends with their brand. The ghosts of Jim Jones and his poisoned congregation are coming back to haunt consumers this fall with the theatrical release of Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple. Produced for the PBS series American Experience, Stanley Nelson’s sobering documentary is well worth 85 of your free minutes. Not that you can ever hope to grasp how a utopian quest went so wrong, but your pulse is sure to quicken from the follower-generated content (including original audio and visual tapes and recently declassified CIA stills) leading up to the ghoulish end. Just wondering: Do you think Kraft should go back to the soft-drink mix’s original name, Fruit Smack?

—Posted by Laura Blum