For two months, the FX/Hulu series “Under the Banner of Heaven” has prompted riveting conversations about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints among members, former members and nonmembers.
Like the bestselling book of the same name by author Jon Krakauer, the series recounts the murders of Latter-day Saint mom Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica, by brothers-in-law Ron and Dan Lafferty.
It also includes flashbacks to violent episodes in Mormonism’s early history and a fictional Latter-day Saint detective — played by actor Andrew Garfield — who undergoes his own faith journey as he uncovers troubling aspects of his religion while investigating the horrific crimes.
The writer-producer who put this all together is Oscar-winning filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, who earned an Academy Award in 2009 for his screenplay of “Milk” and was one of the writers for HBO’s “Big Love.”
Now that the final episode of “Under the Banner” has aired, Black talks about the project, his artistic decisions, the praise and criticism he has received and what viewers — Latter-day Saints and others — should take away from the show.
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