Louis Theroux’s documentaries are always informative and his own style of interviewing is really quite entertaining. He seems to ask the same questions over and over again in slightly different ways. Each time he manages to tease a different answer out of the person. This often results in good insights and makes for good viewing!
Like his other documentaries, My Scienntology Movie was certainly informative. I learnt a lot about the religion, before watching it I had very little idea about what these people actually believed in. In all honesty, much of the ‘knowledge’ I held about the religion came from an old South Park episode I half watched once! From an outsider’s perspective it comes across as an interesting religious organisation. It derives from the teachings of the sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard, very famous celebrities endorse the religion and there are claims that the current religious leader,David Miscavage, has physically assaulted other members. It certainly isn’t traditional by any means!
Despite these strengths, Theroux’s documentary falls short with the lack of information provided from current Scientologists. This isn’t because Theroux didn’t try however! Every Scientologist he tried to interview refused and the closest he got to current Scientologists were those who filmed him silently or told him to get off their property. The information he does come to acquire about Scientology’s practises mainly comes from Mark Rathbun, an ex-Scientologist member who used to be Miscavage’s right-hand man. Whilst his views and information are very interesting, we have to realise we can’t completely trust his judgement as he has motives for reflecting the religion in a bad light. However, Rathbun is an intereating and seemingly volatile person. Theroux certainly doesn’t avoid prodding him with questions to the point where he is offended, allowing even more information about both the religion’s organisation and Rathbun himself.
This documentary is informative and will leave you understanding Scientology a lot more. However, the lack of access Theroux has to current Scientologists and their practises leaves this documentary falling slightly short compared to his other documentary triumphs. However, this shouldn’t stop you from watching My Scientology Movie, it’s good way to spend 90 minutes of your time!