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Louis and the Nazis (2003)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary  -  21 December 2003 (UK)
7.8
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Louis Theroux travels to California to meet the man dubbed "the most dangerous racist in America"; Tom Metzger. Louis meets him, his family and his publicity manager as well as following him to skinhead rallies and on a visit to Mexico.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself - Presenter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
April Gaede ...
Herself
Lamb Gaede ...
Herself
Lynx Gaede ...
Herself
John Malpezzi ...
Himself
Tom Metzger ...
Himself
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Storyline

Louis Theroux travels to California to meet the man dubbed "the most dangerous racist in America"; Tom Metzger. Louis meets him, his family and his publicity manager as well as following him to skinhead rallies and on a visit to Mexico.

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21 December 2003 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

[Louis is following Tom during his day job as TV repairman and has discovered that his oldest and most loyal client is a Peruvian man]
Louis Theroux: You're one of the most famous racists in America, maybe the most famous, and there you were saying that you were friends with this guy who looked to me non-white, or at least mixed-race, and it just seemed inconsistent. I just thought that was kind of weird.
Tom Metzger: Well, maybe you need to be educated in the ways of the world.
Louis Theroux: How do you mean? I mean, don't you see that ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in The Weird World of Louis Theroux (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Louis is his usual semi-objective self and, despite his obvious views, he lets the subjects make their own point
21 January 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Louis Theroux travels to California to meet the man dubbed `the most dangerous racist in America' - Tom Metzger. Louis meets him, his family and his publicity manager as well as following him to skinhead rallies and on a visit to Mexico.

Louis goes back to a sort of area that he has touched on before - racists. He previously had visited a racist leader in South Africa as part of his Weird Weekends show and clearly felt the subject warranted another look. Here he joins a man who was a Grand Dragon in the 70's, up for congress in the 80's and is now leading a group called WAR. Louis style is a little too clever for his own good but it does work at times, here he is laid back enough to allow the subjects to speak for themselves and paint themselves in their own colours, but also he isn't afraid to come out and say things - `that's utter bull' he says as Tom decries the fact that blacks get lighter sentences than skinheads for the same crimes.

The overall approach here is too give these people enough rope to ultimately hang themselves and, on the whole they do, although they also make points that are fair and can be related to. However, what is obvious that, while even Tom has Mexican friends (or at least calls them friends to their face but downplays on camera) the belly of their belief is hatred of the other races. This is the main thing that gets them. A lot of what they say could be accepted as their beliefs and I could go on and say `live and let live', but when they start to say things calmly like `if a n*gger gets out of line then he should be lynched' or `lynching is too slow, we want them all out now' then it shows the sheer hate that they carry.

Louis has no easy answers and doesn't set out to discover why they are like this, nor does he mock them or go for easy swipes. He lets things speak for themselves and lets us mostly take what we see. So when a `visit' to Mexico basically turns into a pub crawl, we see it, or when a `skin head rally' which is considered `significant' turns out to be about 40 people in a dusty field, we see it. The film shows everyone as people and not monsters, but it also shows how silly their beliefs can be, how abhorrent and isolationist their lives can be and also how very dangerous hate can be. It amazed me that these people would be hypocritical yet seem to hold such strong beliefs. Although I'm not being PC, I feel very strongly about anyone's views (whether extreme racist, Christian, Muslim, animal rights etc) if they involve hurting, threatening or hating others - if you disagree sometimes it is hard to have 100% respect for the other person, but killing is zero respect and views that promote it for whatever strongly held belief must be stamped out.

The film is quite relaxed and comic as is Louis' style, but it does have very hard moments, which are not only acted out but written all over Louis' face. The tensest moment comes when Louis visits one of the skinheads in his family and asks `what difference would it make to us chatting if I was a Jew?' the guy simply says that if the camera was off they'd beat him up and kick him into the street at best. For the next 5 minutes they grill him to get him to admit he is Jewish - a fact that Louis never confirms or denies but he does look very, very nervous.

Overall this film is what Louis does very well - he is our eyes and ears and tries not to force his opinion onto the subject more than he has to (although the views he gets here are so obviously abhorrent to him that it is hard not to). It has no major conclusions or answers but this is a film about `ordinary' people that is well worth checking out, even if it is very frightening at times. One comment I would make is that it is easy to do this show with this racist stand because it is very un-PC, and rightly so. However I would really like to see some films that look at racism from the pro-black side (to the point where it is anti-mixing etc in the same way as Tom is). In fact, many black extremists share views with Tom -when Tom stated his desire for `them' to `go back to Africa' and `have their own country', I wonder did he know that Marcus Garvey had been saying that many years prior to anyone even knowing he existed.


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