“When the going gets weird,” legendary journalist Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, “the weird turn pro.” So, it makes sense that Thompson’s friend and collaborator, British artist and iconoclast Ralph Steadman, should have illustrated a new poster for the new, and pretty darned weird, documentary, My Scientology Movie.
Determined to investigate the L. Ron Hubbard church, but denied sufficient access to members, the film’s director, John Dower, and star, journalist Louis Theroux, instead staged reenactments of alleged Scientology training techniques and of an incident in which it is claimed the church’s leader, David Miscavige, lost his temper with subordinates. Theroux alleges that the staging of the reenactments led the church to increase its monitoring of the project.
“The first interaction was letters that said they knew what we were doing,” he says. “The second thing was, we visited the base, and they came out, and began filming us, and saying we were trespassing. A day or two after that, when we were shooting [in a studio], this woman and a cameraman turned up, filmed us from across the road. And it was around then that Marty (Rathbun, a former church member) said, ‘Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve identified a private investigator as well.’ And then, after that, it became that any time we filmed, we had the feeling that we were being followed.”
My Scientology Movie will be released in theaters and on demand, March 3, 2017. You can see the film’s trailer and, exclusively, the new poster — a collaboration between Steadman and distributors Magnolia Pictures and Altitude — below.
My Scientology Movie