Chris Shelton: What Louis Theroux missed about the Scientology experience in his film - 2016-10-20
A year ago, we were fortunate enough to be in the audience for the worldwide premiere of Louis Theroux's My Scientology Movie at the London Film Festival. We thought it was hilarious. Louis has such an amazing sense of timing, and his comedic talents are otherworldly.
Denied access to Scientology officials or church facilities, Theroux and his director, John Dower, came up with some pretty clever ways to dig into Scientology's ideas. We think they did a great job, and we also applaud the former Scientologists who appear in the movie, including Jefferson Hawkins, Marc Headley, Steve Mango, and Marty Rathbun. (Yes, we think Marty did just fine, and if he lost his cool a couple of times on camera, it just made for a better movie.)
We also had a few criticisms, which we spelled out in our story about the film last year. Theroux gets a lot of mileage out of proving that you can get the church to point a camera at you if you point a camera at it, but that didn't seem as important to us as other Scientology subjects that didn't get examined — the way it rips apart families, for example.