November 29, 2016
My Scientology Movie (John Dower, 2015). Does the cutesy school-project-style title suggest that we all have a Scientology movie in us? But Louis Theroux’s version adds little to the groundbreaking work in Going Clear (Lawrence Wright’s book and Alex Gibney’s film) and other, earlier cult-abuse exposes, opting instead for stunts over scoops. So we watch as Theroux tests the patience of security guards, films people who are filming people, cribs an idea about re-enactments from Joshua Oppenheimer and, ultimately, reveals the limits of his personality-based journalism. (Ethical limits included.) Or could you argue that the empty, hall-of-mirrors self-centeredness in this Scientology movie is a comment of some sort on the church’s intergalactic, celebrity egotism?