Prolific filmmaker Louis Theroux has made several fascinating documentaries over the course of his career which have covered vast subjects, ranging from the rise of fascism to the porn industry. Even during the pandemic, Theroux did not let the grim external conditions disrupt his work. Instead, he started a podcast at home where he interviewed targets who wouldn’t have been available otherwise.
For his latest project, Theroux has chosen to do a deep-dive into the landscape of American rap music. Part of a three-episode miniseries titled Forbidden America, the entire series will evaluate “the impact of the internet and social media on some of the most controversial corners of American entertainment” in order to determine how pernicious the effects have been.
For the episode dedicated to American rap, Theroux conducts various interviews with rappers at different points in their career. Throughout the documentary, the recurring question revolves around the overwhelming connection between social media and their lives. Similar questions were also explored in the critically acclaimed comedy show, Dave.
While describing the phenomenon, Theroux said: “The world has gone through massive changes in the last few years, in particular from the effects of social media. This new series looks at the way those changes have affected people in America who are in different ways involved in dangerous, extreme, or morally questionable lifestyles.”
Adding, “Far-right groups that have found new influence through gaming and streaming services. Porn performers who have seen power shift to them as they’ve embraced creator-controlled apps and called out alleged predators in the industry. And in the rap world young men with big dreams caught up in feuds and high-risk behaviour in the click-driven world of social media.
“These three documentaries were tough to make,” Theroux revealed. “They required delicate access conversations. They feature scenes and confrontations that are shocking and upsetting. But they are also powerful depictions of a world that has become strange in ways we could never have imagined just 10 years ago.”
While no release dates have been confirmed yet, it has been reported that Forbidden America will be available for streaming on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.