Mamma Ebe (1985)

Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |  
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Carefully side-stepping a full condemnation of Italy's notorious, 1980's cult leader Ebe Giorgini, this docudrama tells the story of her rise to religious power from the point of view of a distraught father of one of Ebe's cult members. The father was never around to develop much of a relationship with his daughter, and for that reason she has taken up as a novitiate with "Mamma Ebe," whose dubious lifestyle includes two husbands, at least one probable lover, and champagne cruises on her yacht. Worse than these private details of her life are the examples of sadistic physical abuse that millionaire "Mamma Ebe" meted out to her charges when she was displeased by their actions, or the fact that she makes her novitiates work 18-hour days. After this docudrama wrapped, Ebe Giorgini was sentenced to serve time for her activities, a sentence later commuted to house arrest.