Was the international singing group Up with People a positive force for world-wide brotherhood, or a cult-like organization whose insistent perkiness disguised an extreme right-wing agenda fueled by shady corporate bigwigs? Or could it have been both? The questions are raised in Lee Storey's documentary Smile 'Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story, an examination of the kitschy choral group and its legacy of (perhaps co-opted) optimism.
The movie continues through tomorrow night at The Belcourt as part of its excellent "Doctober" series. Director Storey and former Up with People cast member Linda Cates will attend the 7 p.m. show tonight for a post-film Q&A. From the trailer above, it looks like a cocktail of saccharine and acid.