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Hot Docs 2016 Review: “My Scientology Movie” (2016) ★★★★★


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Scientology is  a quite a scary religion that for some reason gets more publicity than it deserves. However, I always find so much fun every time when I watch a film about this cult. But what I’ve seen in John Dower’s “My Scientology” exceeded my expectation beyond any belief so much that I probably will watch it again, just to ensure I missed nothing from it. It’s imaginative, hilarious, and delivers a great view to something any sane person should stay away from.

If for some reason you would like to make a film about the infamous Church of Scientology, how would you like to do that? Without going any further, film presented by Louis Theroux captures, I myself wanted to see all these time – how to recreate Scientology outside of the church in a humoristic way. Louis Theroux wants to make a documentary about Scientology, but unfortunately the Church does not want that to ever happen.

When Theroux recruits a former member Scientologist, Marty Rathburn, both start casting actors to play David Miscavige, or Tom Cruise, whose video footage always causes me goosebumps every time when I watch it. It has a brilliant approach, takes you inside of scientology without even stepping into it. And when a recruited actor, who does an incredible job portraying Miscavige allows himself to be a bit more believable as the lead of Scientology, this will certainly terrify you and in the meantime make you laugh, as this is the most imaginative thing you will probably see in any documentary film.

As the story unfolds, you will find out more about Marty, his real intention, and the reason he helps Louis to destroy the Church’s reputation. In this film you will see the allegation of abuse towards the Church, and how church denies it. In the meantime, based on the situation that surrounds the film and Louis, it appears hard to believe that those allegations are not true.

‘My Scientology Movie’ caught me by surprise as I did not expect to see such a brilliant film. It’s so engaging and entertaining at the same time that you will wish to watch it all over again. Of course, the best part of it is the one when Theroux and Rathburn try to recreate scenes of violent events witnessed by Rathburn. And that is simply brilliant! So, if there’s any documentary you plan to watch at Hot Docs, then ‘My Scientology Movie’ should be the first in your must watch list.

Screening in Canada:

February 6 & 8                        Victoria Film Festival, Victoria, BC

February 17 – 23                     Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, Toronto, ON

February 24 – March 2           Globe Cinema, Calgary, AB

March 3 – 5                             Salt Spring Film Festival, Salt Spring, BC

April 14 – 18                            Bytowne, Ottawa, ON

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (982 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

2 Comments on Hot Docs 2016 Review: “My Scientology Movie” (2016) ★★★★★

  1. I love Louis Theroux! I can’t wait to see this!

  2. Great review and very interesting film. It just opened in Sydney and IMO it is engaging, interesting and funny, but audiences who will see right through the artifice of its constructions. But it should not be called documentary.

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