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Top 10 Louis Theroux Investigations


Written by Richard Bush This guy personifies investigative journalism. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 most shocking documentaries from famed filmmaker Louis Theroux. Known for his spectacular interview techniques and voiding his comfort zone like a bad habit, Theroux is one of the most famous British Documentary filmmakers ever. But which of his unforgettable films are the most nail-bitingly perplexing? Special thanks to our user Joel Birkett for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Shocking Louis Theroux Documentaries


This guy personifies investigative journalism. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 most shocking documentaries from famed filmmaker Louis Theroux.

Known for his spectacular interview techniques and voiding his comfort zone like a bad habit, Theroux is one of the most famous British Documentary filmmakers ever. But which of his unforgettable films are the most nail-bitingly perplexing?

#10: “Louis Theroux: Transgender Kids” (2015)


There are many documentaries on the topic of transgender people, but none are quite as insightful as Theroux’s “Transgender Kids” film, which gives a slightly different look at the topic as it focuses on children who feel uncertain about their gender. A thought-provoking insight into gender identity, we discover how young people can struggle to feel at one with their bodies and how their parents find it difficult to keep their children happy and independent. It also tells of how those parents struggle to do what they think is right for their child.

#9: “Louis Theroux: Extreme Love: Autism” (2012)


Alongside his other documentary “Extreme Love: Dementia”, Louis takes a heartbreaking look at the unparalleled commitment required of families dealing with illness and the advanced care of loved ones. Detailing the lives of young children with autism, Louis interviews both the children themselves and their guardians to gain an understanding of the struggles that autism can lead to, such as fear of socialising and marital strain. One of the most touching documentaries from Theroux, “Extreme Love: Autism” is a real eye-opener.

#8: “My Scientology Movie” (2015)


Travelling side-by-side with ex-Scientology member Mark Rathburn, Louis delves into the innermost circles of the renowned Dianetics-based belief, studying exactly what it is that makes the practices of the group so controversial. While exploring “the science of knowing”, Louis focuses specifically on the alleged mistreatment of its followers by leader David Miscavige. The fact that Theroux was refused cooperation by the Church of Scientology to make a documentary about the belief, makes this film all the more contentious and gripping, as Louis is met with extreme adversity at every turn.

#7: “Louis Theroux: Law and Disorder in Lagos” (2010)


A documentary based in the highly-illegal, highly organised backstreets of Lagos, Nigeria, this film has Louis following a government-run task force called Kick Against Indiscipline. Aside to the plentiful crime on the streets, Theroux shows us how small groups throughout the city control different neighbourhoods with fear and violence, leveraging locals for protection money. Theroux also meets with feared union leader MC and questions his violent methodology. Created alongside other crime-based city documentaries - including Johannesburg and Philadelphia, it's a world rarely seen.

#6: “Louis Theroux: Under the Knife” (2007)


Plastic surgery can become an obsession for some people. Whether it’s rooted in a deep desire to have bigger muscles, a smaller waist, or whether people suffer from body dysmorphia, Theroux explores the many different aspects of the industry. Spending time with individuals first hand, Theroux asks them why they make the choices they do and also sits in on patient and doctor consultations to question the ethics and effectiveness of plastic surgery. In order to properly immerse himself, Louis even has some minor liposuction done to himself.

#5: “Louis Theroux: A Place For Paedophiles” (2009)


In what is an incredibly difficult subject matter for any documentary filmmaker, Theroux manages to toe the line perfectly in this one, neither sensationalising or sympathising with paedophiles at the Coalinga State Hospital. Discussing what they’ve done in the past through a series of difficult-to-watch interviews, the patients tell of both the experiences and public treatment that comes with being a paedophile. This documentary ultimately delivers a completely different perspective on paedophilia by those that have been accused and convicted of it.

#4: “Louis Theroux: Behind Bars” (2008)


Prison is something that constantly features in film, TV and pop culture, but when Louis went behind the bars of the infamous San Quentin prison, he revealed that many of its controversial rumours are all too true. Interviewing a series of different inmates, from newcomers to criminal veterans, we delve into the mindset and past crimes of notorious criminals - and how they survive day-to-day in the detection centre. Whether it’s fighting to defend your bunk or avoiding different races in fear of being singled out, it paints a bleak picture of one of the world’s most famous correctional facilities.

#3: “The Most Hated Family in America” (2007)


Exploring themes of religion and sexuality, this film details the beliefs and daily activity of the family of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas - a group renowned for their hatred of homosexuals. Regularly protesting at the funerals of fallen U.S. Military soldiers, due to their disagreement of America’s tolerance of homosexuals, the Westboro family are proud to let the world know that they think God hates the USA. Theroux later created a follow up to this documentary, telling of how the Westboro group had started to deplete in numbers and face criminal action.

#2: “Porn” (1998)
“Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends”


Something we are no doubt familiar with but probably know very little about, Theroux looks beneath the often glamorised, playboy-like lifestyle of the porn industry, to reveal that for some of its members, it is shrouded in depression, uncertainty and fear. Interviewing adult film stars about why they turned to a career in porn, Theroux gives us a better understanding of what goes into each adult film and the demanding nature of being a pornstar. Theroux later revisited the topic with a film entitled “Twilight of the Porn Stars”, interviewing many of those featured in his initial documentary.

#1: “Louis and the Nazis” (2003)


Although on the surface an exploration into racism, this documentary goes much deeper than that, telling of how children can be brought up into neo-Nazi subcultures. From cheerfully singing racist songs, to playfully making swastikas out of tape on the kitchen floor, we follow April and her family as they attempt to justify why they believe in the White Aryan Resistance. We also see Louis chat with Tom Metzger, a man labelled as "the most dangerous racist in America”, and witness a harrowing scene which depicts Louis being aggressively questioned over whether he is Jewish or not.
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