The Canterbury Hub

Latest news from CCCU's Journalism course


A review of Louis Theroux’s ‘Shooting Joe Exotic’

The success of Netflix’s Tiger King documentary last year was huge, but many people found that a lot of questions were left unanswered

That’s why when I saw that Louis Theroux was doing a follow-up documentary, I knew I had to watch it.

The new documentary titled ‘Shooting Joe Exotic‘ consisted of Theroux looking back at his 2011 documentary: ‘America’s Most Dangerous Pets’, and him asking himself if he’d missed the real story, which was later told in Tiger King.

It started by recapping what had already been told, which I thought was beneficial for both new watchers and familiar ones like myself, as it helped to set the context.

The fact that Theroux included both unseen and seen-before clips from his previous documentary was extremely effective, as it didn’t just feel like we were being told information we already knew.

It helped to move the story on in an engaging way, and a number of the old clips – such as one where Joe Exotic said that either him or Carole Baskin had to die – act as further evidence for watchers to deduce Exotic’s guilt.

By going back and interviewing Baskin and her husband after their biased depictions in the Tiger King documentary, it showed a different and more innocent side to them after a year of the whole world believing that she’d killed her ex-husband.

By not having this dark narrative in the background, it gave watchers the opportunity to hear her truth and her real intentions, which I found to be very insightful and opinion changing.

As well as this, Theroux interviewed people we hadn’t seen before, which added new opinions and perspectives to the table – for example, Joe Exotic’s estranged brother’s testimony undermined a number of the claims Exotic had made in the past.

This was intriguing to watch as it gave a new angle to the story and made watchers think and potentially form new opinions.

The main thing the documentary opened my eyes to was that of Joe Exotics guilt. Theroux briefly covered the #FreeJoeExotic phenomenon that came after Tiger King was released, delving into the potential of Donald Trump pardoning him as his presidential term ended.

After listening to all the interviews and looking at the unbiased facts, it’s safe to say that, at least in my opinion, Exotic’s prison sentence was fair and just.

As a whole, this documentary is a must-watch for anyone who saw Tiger King in the first lockdown and wants to see an update of all the people involved and how they were affected.

Click here to read more on lifestyle.

Featured image credit: BBC iplayer