USA / UK
Runtime: 99 min
Directed by John Dower
Starring: Louis Theroux
Synopsis: ‘I find that the most inexplicable behaviour is motivated by very relatable human impulses,’ comments Louis Theroux as he heads to Los Angeles for his feature documentary exploring the Church of Scientology. Following a long fascination with the religion and with much experience in dealing with eccentric, unpalatable and unexpected human behaviour, the beguilingly unassuming Theroux won’t take no for an answer when his request to enter the Church’s headquarters is turned down. Inspired by the Church’s use of filming techniques, and aided by ex-members of the organization, Theroux uses actors to replay some incidents people claim they experienced as members in an attempt to better understand the way it operates. In a bizarre twist, it becomes clear that the Church is also making a film about Louis Theroux. Suffused with a good dose of humour and moments worthy of a Hollywood script, My Scientology Movie is stranger than fiction.
At times it plays like an extended skit on The Daily Show; yet its disorder also makes its insights–like how strongly the church’s training sessions resemble acting classes–feel refreshingly organic. -New York Times
Theroux raises troubling questions about psychological warfare and how devoutness shades into fanaticism. -Los Angeles Times