Himmelstor: The cult trailer investigates tragic suicide

The four-part documentaries were written by Clay Tweel, the director of “Gleason” and “Finders Keepers”.


Cults have always fascinated me. Who starts them, who joins them, who leaves them and why. Though, in the end, I wasn’t interested in HBO’s NXIVM series The vowI’m looking forward to the upcoming documentaries from HBO Max Gate of Heaven: The Cult of Cults based on the trailer released this week.

The four-part series from the director Tone tweel uses never-before-seen footage to thoroughly examine the infamous UFO cult through the eyes of its former members and loved ones. The cult began with the disappearance of 20 people from a small Oregon town and ended with the largest suicide on US soil in 1997 – one that changed the face of modern New Age religion forever.

While Tweel is best known for directing GleasonI know him primarily as a director of whoever finds it may keep it, a documentary about an amputee trying to recover his missing leg from a man who found it in a grill he bought at auction. The incident was bizarre to say the least, and it doesn’t get any more bizarre than the Gate of Heaven, which leads me to believe he’s the perfect person for this particular project.

Gates of Heaven - the cult of cults - followers

Image via HBO max

I can only imagine the amount of media inquiries Heaven’s Gate ex-members and the families of its deceased members have received over the years, but we hope they shared something new with Tweel who has undoubtedly proven himself to be a compassionate filmmaker as well as a sensitive storyteller. I doubt he is trying to take advantage of this tragedy but rather to shed light on this mysteriously confusing group by focusing on how they lived, not just how they died.

Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults was produced by CNN and Campfire, their CEO Ross Dinerstein Executive produces in addition to Tweel and Shannon Riggswhile Chris Bannon, Eric Spiegelman, Peter Clowney and Erik Diehn Executive produces on behalf of digital media company Stitcher, which also released a podcast about the cult.

Tweel previously worked with Dinerstein on Netflix’s documentaries about true crime in six episodes The innocent man, based on Josh Grishamis the only non-fiction book. The Heaven’s Gate series will debut on HBO Max on Thursday, December 3rd. The streamer just released the true crime documentary DB Cooper’s secretClick here to watch the trailer and click here to read it Matt Goldbergenthusiastic review.


Gate of Heaven-the-cult-of-cults-poster


The best hidden gems and underrated movies on Netflix

Indies, horror films, and even big studio films that didn’t catch on make up our curated list.

About the author

Jeff Sneider
(1342 articles published)

Jeff Sneider is a Senior Film Reporter at Collider, where he publishes film and television news and curates the Up-and-Comer of the Month column. He also hosts the podcast “The Sneider Cut” and the award-winning series “For Your Consideration” with Scott Mantz and Perri Nemiroff. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Jeff began his career at Ain’t It Cool News before moving to Los Angeles to write for Variety and later for TheWrap and Mashable. Jeff was also the Editor-in-Chief of the Tracking Board and has contributed to the MTV Movies Blog, Hollywood Life Magazine, Washington Square News, and the Colorado Springs Independent. His Oscar selection appeared on the LA Times Envelope site, and he agrees with screenwriter William Goldman, who famously said of Hollywood, “Nobody knows.” Jeff is from Needham, Massachusetts and has never had a salad. He can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Cameo and Blogspot by searching his Nom de Plume @TheInSneider.

More from Jeff Sneider

Comments are closed.