Training For The Apocalypse Film Review

Posted December 17, 2012 in

Training for the Apocalypse
Director: Rob VanAlkemade

Most people with common sense will simply laugh off the Mayan calendar and its prediction of the apocalypse on December 21, but this 55-minute documentary does a great job exploring the minds of those who truly believe the end is upon us. Like most documentaries, VanAlkemade uses a single, hand-held camera to shadow the lives of several doomsday enthusiasts from around the country, including a couple of people living here in Utah. A large portion of the film focuses on a very interesting old man named Leland, who is known by locals as the “Parowan Prophet.” The low-profile approach by VanAlkemade is very intimate, which gives you an unfiltered look at these people’s lives. In one scene, you feel as though you are sitting in Leland’s living room as he preaches to his very small congregation of followers, who seem increasingly skeptical of his false predictions. However, this film is not just about the Mayan apocalypse, showing years of footage that goes back to 2009 when Leland failed yet again to predict the end of the world on President Obama’s Inauguration Day. Due to the unusual lifestyles of those being documented, you are captivated and intrigued by this fascinating film, as it tries to pull back the curtains of what goes on inside the heads of these folks.