Author Topic: Louis Theroux: Surviving America's Most Hated Family  (Read 3114 times)

Re: Louis Theroux: Surviving America's Most Hated Family
« Reply #90 on: July 20, 2019, 03:45:00 PM »
I read on her twitter that Megan likes the fact that her true response was included in the show. Her family refuse all her attempts at communicating with them but they will definitely watch this.
Yeah, I saw that and that puts any film criticism into perspective I guess.

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Louis Theroux: Surviving America's Most Hated Family
« Reply #91 on: July 20, 2019, 11:44:39 PM »
I was fuming about that bloke from Bradford, because I wrote a story for a creative writing course in uni about an English bloke who goes over to America to marry one of the Westboro girls, and ends up getting indoctrinated, partly inspired by the fact that I found Jael Phelps attractive in a weird way, and I thought there was something really really funny in the idea of entering such an undeniably hateful and appalling cult just because you saw one of the women on TV for five minutes and fancied them. It struck me as such a pointless and hollow and amoral thing to do, to go all that way and ingratiate yourself among such awful people, just to get a shag. Really properly amused me. Now I tune into this new documentary and find out she's literally married an unimpressive English dweeb who emigrated and joined the cult for her. I'm an unimpressive English dweeb! I could be deep in that cult right now if I'd bothered to carry my own idea out.

Re: Louis Theroux: Surviving America's Most Hated Family
« Reply #92 on: July 30, 2019, 05:49:37 PM »
I found this quite a bizarre chapter, really. I'm a big Louis fan and have really enjoyed his previous visits to this circus of cunts, but like others I wasn't persuaded much by his insistence that Westboro are mellowing and Shirley is being sidelined. There just didn't seem too much evidence of that, and I felt like the clips chosen of mellower parts of the sermons could have easily been switched with harsher clips if that was the chosen narrative.

It didn't really become something noteworthy until the clip of Shirley struggling to reconcile the grief of losing three daughters with her batshit beliefs. I actually struggled to hold it together during that scene and found it quite powerful. Captured on camera was this poor, conflicted woman, too embedded to what her father instilled in her to do what she knows is the most natural and compelling thing in the world - to be there for her children. On a human level, it's hard not to feel for her, as horrible as she can be. Powerful footage.

As was the reaction from Megan that members of her family had become engaged and therefore further entwined in the ideology of the church. The final third of the show definitely rescued it from a slightly forced re-tread.

EDIT: the chap from Bradford was quite an amusing little side piece to the whole thing. I loved his little knowing smile and almost-wink at the end of his self-produced 'God Hates The UK' video, which was transparently an attempt to get into Jael's knickers. I didn't get the impression he really believed a word of it, he was just a bored misfit who was attracted to the notoriety of Westboro and somehow managed to hit the jackpot.

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Louis Theroux: Surviving America's Most Hated Family
« Reply #93 on: July 30, 2019, 06:35:12 PM »
Yeah, that moment of Shirley breaking down was far and away the most interesting moment, given how closed-off and unapologetically devoted to the cause she's been in any other documentary or clip she's appeared in. The cynical side of me wants to say 'is she putting it on?' - but then for what reason? It definitely looked like the crumbling of a woman whose entire life has been dedicated to the ruthless pursuit of her faith at any cost, who is now beginning to really consider whether it's been worth it. It must be very strange to commit yourself to anger, shouting and hatred for so many decades, with no respite or reward coming as a result.