Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie

Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie

John Dower (2015)

95min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Arriving hot on the heels of Alex Gibney's Going Clear, John Dower and Louis Theroux's exposé of Scientology feels a little lightweight and secondhand. Its gambit is to use the testimony of former high-ranking members of the church to poke fun at its leader, David Miscavige, and its best-known disciple, Tom Cruise. With the impertinent style he borrowed from iconoclastic documentarist Nick Broomfield, Theroux goads Marty Rathbun, the onetime Inspector General of Scientology's Religious Technology Center, into revealing what he knows about the violence allegedly committed by Miscavige and his use of the Sea Org disciplinary unit. In between occasionally tetchy confessional sessions with Rathbun, Theroux holds casting sessions to find Cruise and Miscavige lookalikes and drives out to the church's Gold Base headquarters in California, where he twice locks horns with hectoring senior official Catherine Fraser, who was once married to ex-PR chief Jeff Hawkins, another disgruntled "apostate", who guides Theroux through some of the religion's more peculiar practices. But, while the instances of "squirrel-busting" and intimidation by counter-surveillance are unsettling and Theroux clearly gets under Miscavige's skin, he offers few fresh insights into Scientology or its methodologies.

Summary

The reporter investigates the controversial religious organisation, but finds himself denied access to anyone involved. Adopting a different approach, he resorts to recruiting actors to re-enact the personal stories of former members - only to find his project is under surveillance by representatives of the church.

Cast & Crew

Reporter Louis Theroux
Director John Dower

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: AltitudeGuidance: Swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 7 Oct 2016
Documentary