Marjoe Gortner was just four years old when he began his lengthy career as an Evangelical preacher. He was very good at it, but when he returned to the circuit as an adult after a break from his parents, it was as a businessman rather than a believer. Eventually, the conflict between his true feelings and his work became too great to sustain. He then chose to do one final tour with a documentary film crew in tow, exposing the shadier side of the Evangelical movement as he did so. The resulting film (which won an Acadamy Award in 1972) is fascinating on so many different levels it’s hard to count. Marjoe is a very charismatic person who freely reveals the tricks of his trade, and watching him work a room after he’s explained his methods is a powerful education in the art of persuasion. Seeing the impact that he has on people despite his own beliefs raises a lot of questions; Marjoe claims no responsibility for the spontaneous healings and transformations that occurred within his flock, but it’s clear that many people got their money’s worth despite his less than pure intentions. This is an important film for anyone interested in the power, influence and corruption of spiritual leaders. It’s available from Neflix.