Documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux has revealed the regrets of his past, and his fears for the future in an emotionally charged interview with The Guardian.
Theroux said that despite 25 years of documentary filmmaking, specialising in fringe cultures and uncomfortable interactions, he was still amazed by Trump’s ‘shamelessness’.
“Trump saw through so much. For all his awfulness, I can’t but help admire his shamelessness, in an odd way. Or maybe not admire, but be fascinated by it and maybe envy it. In a shame culture he seems to have figured out that if you refuse to be shamed, it gives you enormous power.”
The English filmmaker is currently working on a long-term documentary on Trump supporters. In the meantime, a three-part documentary series exploring the darkest corners of US culture is airing in the UK and USA.
Dark State will feature three episodes that examine controversial cultural phenomena in the underbelly of the USA. Heroin Town, Murder in Milwaukee and Sex Trafficking Houston expose US drug communities, police violence and the subculture of pimps and prostitutes in the USA.
*You can check out the trailer in the player above, international readers, head over here.*
Each of these documentaries began production before Trump took office.
When asked about how his new Trump-supporter project would tackle a larger subculture, Theroux said: “I’ve always been fascinated by fringe beliefs and taboo attitudes, and some of those attitudes are creeping towards the mainstream. At that point, it stops being called weirdness. In a sense, weirdness is a majoritarian phenomenon. If enough people believe it, it stops being weird.”
In 2000, Theroux produced a film about Jimmy Savile, then beloved presenter of children’s TV program, Jim’ll fix it. Despite his profile of Savile, Theroux did not uncover his history of child abuse, which emerged in 2011 after his death.
Theroux released a follow-up film in 2016, criticising himself for enabling Savile to go on unexposed.
On his follow up film, he said: “I can’t really say whether or not I was too hard on myself. I was just trying to account for my own role in the affair and understand why I wasn’t able to see more.”