Much like its mysterious subject, Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie has been shrouded in secrecy. Despite premiering at the London Film Festival last year, all footage of the documentary has been kept offline; with no release date or trailer on display.
Now, though, we’ve finally been given our first glimpse. Ahead of the film’s screening at Tribeca later this month, EW has been blessed with an exclusive two-minute teaser, as well as a statement from the man himself.
“More than 10 years ago, I approached the church to see if they might let me in to make a documentary,” Theroux reveals. “I thought I might be able to bring a sense of nuance and perspective to people’s understanding of a faith that has been much ridiculed. Just as I have done with other non-mainstream stories, I hoped to see it from the inside and make a human connection with its clerics and congregants. But I was repeatedly turned down.”
After his requests were eventually accepted, Theroux joined forces with film director John Dower to make the film, though he stresses that it wasn’t easy. “I came to believe I was being tailed by private investigators,” he continues. “Someone in Clearwater, Florida attempted to hack my emails, we were filmed covertly, I also had the police called on me more than once, not to mention a blizzard of legal letters from Scientology lawyers. And yet, at every step, I remained open to Scientology’s good points and tried to see it for what it is: a system of belief that is not so different from other religions, capable of enlarging the soul as well as crushing the spirit.”