His Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief previously won Emmys
Alex Gibney may be persona non grata with Scientologists, but he's finding approval in other quarters.
The prolific filmmaker won the Writers Guild Award Saturday night for his documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, a deeply unflattering view of Scientology creator L. Ron Hubbard and the practices of the church he founded. Gibney both wrote and narrated the film, which is based on Lawrence Wright's book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief.
The film won three Emmys last September, and also won a prestigious duPont Award. It was nominated for a Directors Guild Award and short-listed for the Oscars.
At a pre-DGA Awards discussion in Los Angeles last week Gibney revealed the extent of the backlash against him for directing a critical film about Scientology. He said a Scientologist filmmaker has been shadowing him as part of a documentary the church is making about him. And he said a Scientology publication has attacked both him and his father.
"They do have a reputation for going after people," Gibney told an audience at DGA headquarters. "It's psychological cruelty and intimidation."
Gibney is due in Berlin soon to unveil his latest documentary, Zero Days, an examination of the impact of the stuxnet virus, which the US and Israel reportedly launched to disrupt Iran's nuclear program. It premieres Wednesday at the 66th Berlinale.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.