Charlie Says

The Manson Family women recount the crimes and murders they committed in service of their cult leader in Mary Harron’s (American Psycho) provocative take on one of the most infamous crimes in the 20th century.
May 2019
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Charlie Says

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Director: Mary Harron

Starring: Matt Smith, Suki Waterhouse, Hannah Murray, Marianne Rendón, Sosie Bacon, Kayli Carter, and Merritt Wever

 

2018, USA, 111 minutes, Digital, Rated R

Language: English

Distributor: IFC Films

Program Notes

Years after the shocking murders that made the name Charles Manson synonymous with pure evil, the three women who killed for him—Leslie Van Houten (Hannah Murray), Patricia Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon), and Susan Atkins (Marianne Rendón) — remain under the spell of the infamous cult leader (Matt Smith). Confined to an isolated cellblock in a California penitentiary, the trio seem destined to live out the rest of their lives under the delusion that their crimes were part of a cosmic plan — until empathetic graduate student Karlene Faith (Merritt Wever) is enlisted to rehabilitate them. Convinced the prisoners are not the inhuman monsters the world believes them to be, Karlene begins the arduous process of breaking down the psychological barriers erected by Manson. But are the women ready to confront the horror of what they did? Boundary pushing auteur Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol) presents a provocative new perspective on one of the most notorious crimes of the 20th century.

Critics' Praise

“In her powerful and deeply affecting Charlie Says, Mary Harron revisits the Manson cult in a dramatization largely told from the perspective of his female followers.”
— Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“A fascinating and feminist exploration of Manson’s first victims: the girls themselves.”
— Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times

“Harron and Turner succeed in finding a fresh and absorbing point of view on a familiar and tragic true story-up to and including the murders, which retain their horror without descending into exploitation.”
— Michael Gingold, Birth.Movies.Death.

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
Venice Film Festival


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