My Scientology Movie
My Scientology Movie must have felt like starting anew in the field of documentary for the award-winning prolific documentarian Louis Theroux as he embarked upon a piece on someone who hadn’t invited him to film with him. In the face of significantly limited access to what he is used to Theroux does not crumble. He continues to try to gain an unbiased understanding of the world of Scientology without their involvement which naturally, for a following concerned in their secrecy and controlled propaganda, only results in provoking them to become involved in a purely negative light.
Louis Theroux, with the involvement of shamed ex-communicated Scientologist Marty Rathbun, sheds light on the secretive world Scientology has created. World is the right word here, involving a completely different ethos to how the social hierarchy unbeknownst to most, based on fiscal commitment and a propagation of beliefs that takes on a biblical dialogue in the description of the fate of non-believers – that of an eternal fiery damnation. With Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn, who brought the world Searching for Sugarman and Man on Wire, this film gives an engaging and provocative look behind the Hollywood façade Scientology propagates itself from.
Theroux in collaboration with director John Dower doesn’t just rest on the numerous affidavits of those who have left, he hires actors to resemble all that embodies the leader, David Miscavige’s mannerisms, with disturbing results. With an apparent egomaniac at the helm defined by a manner of justified aggression one has to wonder about the sinister undertones discovered at the Scientology campus, the floodlights triggered by inside motion sensors for anyone brave enough to tackle the razor-lined wire fences and the numerous allegations of physical and emotional abuse suffered at the leader’s hands.
Is Scientology a cult? One cannot say. However Theroux wholeheartedly embraces, as ever, the processes of becoming a Scientologist to help him, and the viewer, to understand. With typical awkward humour Theroux attempts the induction process, determining it nonsensical in its approach, and delves deeper into the darker psyche behind the benign outward personas of the once-dedicated attendees guiding him through his Scientological discovery.
My Scientology Movie does not yet have a UK release date.