Five years ago we began filming what has turned into the most extraordinary documentary. The Rev. George Exoo is a not very successful Unitarian minister from Beckley, West Virginia who has drifted into helping terminally ill people commit suicide.
However as we film we begin to see a change in George. He’s started helping non-terminally ill people commit suicide. And he gets very annoyed if he travels across America to discover they’ve changed their minds and don’t want to commit suicide. And he keeps going on about how he can’t wait his own death because it will be a great adventure. And he’s got an amoral new assistant called Susan who claims she’ll help practically anyone if the price is right.
“For George it’s a calling,” she says. “For me it’s a business.”
George says he has so far helped more than 100 people commit suicide. Early one morning in July 2007 – after five years filming with George, following him to private meetings with his clients and his right-to-die peer groups he was arrested by the FBI and thrown into federal prison.
This is a film about someone becoming too seduced by the specialness of their calling.
Reverend Death is written and directed by Jon Ronson; executive produced by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato and produced by World of Wonder productions the same team behind Party Monster and Inside Deep Throat, both films that played at the Berlin Film Festival.