My Scientology Movie
Louis Theroux documents his investigation into what goes on behind the scenes of the infamous Church of Scientology. My Scientology Movie is a 2015 British documentary film about Scientology directed by John Dower, and written by and starring Louis Theroux. The film takes an unconventional approach to the subject matter, featuring young actors "auditioning" for parts playing high-profile Scientologists in scenes recreating accounts from ex-members about incidents involving senior church management. The Church of Scientology responded by putting the filmmakers under surveillance and denouncing the film. My Scientology Movie premiered at the London Film Festival on 14 October 2015 before receiving a limited theatrical release in the United Kingdom on 7 October 2016 from BBC Films. The film was praised by The Daily Telegraph reviewer Tim Robey as "a giddy, Pythonesque delight". He commented that it was "all wickedly tendentious mischief, but when it's this gloriously funny, the points score themselves." Variety magazine reviewer Guy Lodge described it as a "riotously funny" film that delivered "penetrating insights into the fiercely guarded administration of the church that Ron built. It's also a witty essay on the politics of surveillance". Fionnuala Halligan of Screen Daily called the film "typically quixotic, consistently funny, and provocative in unexpected ways", describing it as "pleasingly eccentric" and "impish yet effective." The Huffington Post called the film 'absurdly funny'. In The Guardian, John Patterson found that the film "pulls off the neat trick of finding a revelatory approach to a topic that’s been well covered of late: the Church of Scientology" before concluding that it "belongs in the company of the most serious work done on the church. The more sunlight that falls on this dark organisation, the better for all of us"