Today arrives on Disney + the mini-series On order of God, worn by Andrew Garfield and an exceptional cast. Taken from a true story, this police investigation among the Mormons is a must see.
It’s a true crime of high quality that Disney+ offers us. By order of God is the chilling story of a double murder in Utah in 1984: that of Brenda Lafferty, played by Daisy Edgar Jones who confirms her revelation status, and her 15-month-old baby girl. A barbarism born of religious fundamentalism by extremist Mormons who claimed to obey a revelation from God.
Created by Dustin Lance Black Oscar-winning screenwriter Harvey Milk, By God’s Order is the adaptation of the book of the same name by Jon Krakauer. The latter, also author of the book Into the Wild, unearthed with this non-fiction book one of the most resounding criminal cases in the history of the United States. And Dustin Lance Black makes it a work of television that resonates all the more strongly today.
He brings together an exceptional cast, and succeeds in making this mini-series in seven episodes much more than just a particularly captivating crime story. It is also a fascinating portrait of a hyperreligious and oh so dysfunctional family. It’s an illuminating (and unglamorous) look at Mormon society via its mainstream and mainstream and one of its extremist offshoots.
It’s also an examination of some of the darkest chapters in Mormon Church history and some of its most controversial doctrines, such as polygamy. And finally, it’s a reflection on how religious belief can inspire both good and evil and stymie minds from critical judgment.
An incredible performance by Andrew Garfield
At the heart of the story, and our guides throughout the investigation, are two fictional police officers investigating the murders. Detective Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfieldlisten)) is a devoted family man and a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as the LDS or Mormon Church). Detective Bill Taba (Gil Birminghamlisten)) is not a Mormon, and the fact that he is Native American makes him in LDS belief a Lamanite whose dark skin is a curse from God.
The relationship between the two men is another strength of the series. With some particularly strong moments showing how they manage to find common ground and even real communion in the exercise of their profession, despite the cultural gap that separates them. Garfield is singularly touching in his approach to the character of Jeb whose faith is shaken by this investigation. Far from the nonchalant attitude that we can know him, he shows another facet of his talent.
As for fiery Brenda (Daisy Edgar-Jones), clearly ill-suited to the subjugation of women demanded in some LDS circles, she marries the well-meaning Allen Lafferty (Billy Howle), without really realizing what she is getting into. The Lafferty clan is led by a stern and violent patriarch (Christopher Heyerdahl), including sons Ron and Dan (Sam Worthington and Wyatt Russell) decide to go their own way in the most terrifying way.
The writing, sensitive and neat, opens the door to brilliant performances in all areas, especially from Sam Worthington who comes out of these muscular roles and a Rory Culkin deeply disturbing in the role of brother samuel Lafferty. Everything is made possible thanks to the talent of Dustin Lance Black, who grew up in the Mormon Church. He was a screenwriter and producer of big lovethe other great series about a Mormon family, and captures with what seems like stark truth the essence of a movement that belongs to another age.