Hamstrung by the Church of Scientology’s understandable lack of cooperation, Louis Theroux borrows meta recreation techniques from the likes of The Act of Killing to ingenious effect.
Actors’ impersonations of the likes of Church leader David Miscavige and Tom Cruise turn a potential problem into a source of hilarity and unexpected insight.
Theroux is on great form, tiptoeing around the ultra-confrontational Church to comic effect, but you can’t help but wish he’d fought fire with fire more often. One such scene with Louis and a Church cameraman mutely filming each other at point-blank range is a highlight of the film.
The lack of answers here is frustrating but understandable, and the journey to find them provides an entertaining look at the nature of power and belief.
CAST: Louis Theroux, David Miscavige, Tom Cruise, Mark ‘Marty’ Rathbun,
DIRECTOR: John Dower
WRITERS: John Dower, Louis Theroux
SYNOPSIS: Louis Theroux wants to make a film about the Church of Scientology, but they have been refusing him access for years. His answer is to speak to ex-members and recreate key events to try and discover the allure of the religion.