Sunday, April 17, 2016


A Tribeca Film Festival 2016 Selection

By D.E.Levine

Louis Theroux shows up in Los Angeles announcing his intention to make a movie about the Church of Scientology.  His approach is to film a series of scripted and unscripted scenes from the life of Church leader David Miscavige.

He will audition actors, film the audition process and use as his adviser former Scientologist Marty Rathbun, a man now thoroughly despised within the Church.

When the Church becomes aware of Theroux and his actions they send people to harass him in a variety of ways, including armed with movie cameras to do a counter documentary of Theroux.

It's a rather intriguing approach and we have only the film and comments by Rathbun about the actors playing Miscavige being very realistic, to go on.  Theroux seems intent on cross examining Rathbun about his actions while he was in the Church.  At this point in his life, Rathbun has admitted his actions and is dedicated to working against the Church, so the viewer has to wonder why Theroux is so intent on his cross examination.  Rathbun is furious at Theroux's lack of faith in him.

For his part, Theroux does shed light on how important Los Angeles and the movie industry is to the Church.  The Scientologists prey on the desperation of the dream seekers who come to town seeking fame and fortune and siphon off much of their energy and money with promises.

Tom Cruise is a featured player, being one of the most famous Scientologists, close to Miscavige and an outspoken advocate for the Church.