I just finished reading Jon Krakauer’s controversial (a word I keep pronouncing con-tro-ver-see-al, despite many admonitions and declarations of self-hatred) Under the Banner of Heaven. And rather than a fictional adaptation of the book (like the recent, smug Into the Wild) I’d like to see a detailed documentary about both the subject matter and the writing/researching/consequences of the book itself.
Remembering the outcry about Under the Banner of Heaven in the LDS community, and reading the reviews on Good Reads, I’ve found that Mormons really hate this book. Which, to me, seems to exacerbate the unflattering thesis Krakauer proposes – namely, that religious extremes can encourage violence and irrational thought. Like Krakauer points out in his notes at the end of his study, secretiveness about Mormon history only seems to further the uncomfortable mystery behind the church and its origins.
While Under the Banner of Heaven was fascinating to me in a lot of ways, I’d be even more interested in the book that could follow: The Making of Under the Banner of Heaven. If only books were like DVDs with hours and hours of extras, making-of docs, and voice-over commentaries. I’d love to hear and see the reactions to the book. Perhaps more detail about how LDS and FLDS members react to the violent incidents in their histories.
Yes, it would probably be fairly easy to get more than enough information from the internet to satisfy my curiosity. But just like a popular best-selling author like Krakauer has the ability to bring information to light that would otherwise collect dust on local bookshelves, a documentary backed by Krakauer could be just as influential.