October 16




Run time: 100m

Release date: 7th October

Distributor: Altitude


Director: John Dower

Cast: Louis Theroux, John Dower


Synopsis: Louis Theroux’s first theatrical feature documentary, from the Oscar-winning producer of ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ and ‘Man on Wire’, Simon Chinn, sees the renowned journalist-filmmaker delve into the world of Scientology, one of the world’s most mysterious and powerful religions, in what he regards as ‘the Holy Grail of Stories’.

URL: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pY7TTVWWiM


We are well used to Louis Theroux on the small screen in a series of BBC documentaries over the years, with his well-honed technique of exposing his subjects from the inside with a series of faux naïve questions that disarm any suspicions. So how does he do in his first big screen outing, produced by old school chum Simon Chinn, presumably to ride the wave of the current popularity of documentaries in the cinema?


In truth, there is not too much difference from the small screen Theroux, and the signs of BBC backing suggest it will be on TV before too long. Perhaps the main distinction is that Louis’ trademark ingratiation technique does not here gain him access to the inner sanctum of Scientology, such is the power of the mysterious religion. Instead he has to adopt the novel tactic of getting actors to dramatise some of Scientology’s mind-bending techniques in order to provoke the religion into a response. Louis stands up well to the subsequent surveillance and harassment, an experience of which has reduced other investigative journalists to quivering wrecks.


images courtesy of Altitude

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