He’s (kind of) tackled scientology, he reportedly has Trump-mania in his sights, and it sounds like we’re going to be getting even more of Louis Theroux’s fearless brand of investigative journalism in 2017.
According to an exclusive article in The Independent, everyone’s favourite bespectacled documentary-maker will return to the BBC with three brand new films, each exploring a different challenge facing modern-day America.
The projects in question will be titled Murder in Milwaukee, Sex Trafficking Houston (working title), and Opiate City. Somewhat confusingly, none of these appear to be the seemingly inevitable Trump documentary that whipped the internet into a frenzy last week.
The first of the hard-hitting films, Murder in Milwaukee, will see Theroux head to one of the most racially segregated cities in the US, where the relationship between police and the city’s African-American population is particularly fraught.
Louis spends time with the Milwaukee Police Department’s patrolling homicide department, as well as residents and social activists, as he tries to understand why the homicide rate in the city significantly higher than the national average.
The second documentary, Sex Trafficking Houston, will feature interviews with women working in the Texas city’s sex industry, and Theroux will explore the way the current system struggles with trying to offer women a route out of the lifestyle, while simultaneously criminalising it.
In Opiate City, the final film in the BBC run, we’ll learn about how and why in Huntington, West Virginia, as many as one in 10 babies are reportedly born with an opiate addiction. Theroux investigates America’s clamping down on the oversubscription of prescription painkillers, which has contributed to a widespread heroin epidemic that is choking some communities in the city.
Speaking to The Independent about the upcoming films, which at the time of writing haven’t been given a release date, Theroux said: “I immerse myself in some of the most dysfunctional and disturbing aspects of American society. They combine hard-hitting actuality with intimate interviews.
“I have been granted access to the police in several states; I've got to know the people affected by crime; and I've also spent time with the perpetrators of crime, with the idea of understanding the causes of it, both on a systemic level and also in a very personal way.”
A trilogy of eye-opening documentaries from the journalist who seemingly never rests? Count us in.