Louis Theroux: Dark States

Watch Louis Theroux: Dark States

  • 2017
  • 1 Season
  • 7.8  (1,159)

Louis Theroux: Dark States is a hard-hitting documentary series that delves into some of the most dangerous and impoverished regions of the United States. The show is presented by Louis Theroux, a veteran journalist and documentary filmmaker known for his unique approach to storytelling.

Over the course of three episodes, Louis travels to three different cities in the US, each of which has its own unique set of challenges and problems. In the first episode, "Heroin Town," Louis visits Huntington, West Virginia, a city that has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. There, he meets with addicts, law enforcement officials, and community activists to try to gain a better understanding of the scope of the problem and what is being done to address it.

In the second episode, "Trafficking Sex," Louis travels to Houston, Texas, to investigate the world of prostitution and sex trafficking. He meets with both sex workers and their clients, as well as with members of law enforcement and advocacy groups who are working to combat the problem.

Finally, in the third episode, "Murder in Milwaukee," Louis visits Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a city with one of the highest rates of gun violence in the country. He speaks with families of victims, law enforcement officials, and community leaders to try to get a sense of what is driving the violence and what can be done to stop it.

Throughout the series, Louis uses his trademark interviewing style to get up close and personal with his subjects, often gaining their trust and opening up lines of communication that might not have been possible with a different approach. He is also unflinching in his portrayal of the stark realities of life in these communities, never shying away from the harsh truths that he uncovers.

Louis is not alone in his efforts, however. In each episode, he is well-supported by local guides who are intimately familiar with the communities they take him to. In "Heroin Town," for example, Louis is joined by Mickey Watson, a former addict who now runs a community organization that helps people struggling with addiction. In "Trafficking Sex," he works alongside Alisha Phillips, a former sex worker who now advocates for greater protections for people in the sex industry.

The series is expertly produced and edited, with a keen eye for detail and a real sense of urgency. The use of music and sound design is particularly effective, helping to create a sense of atmosphere and tension that is often palpable.

One of the real strengths of the series is the way that it brings together different threads and perspectives to create a nuanced portrait of each of the communities it visits. Rather than presenting a one-sided view of the issues at hand, the show takes pains to explore different points of view, including those of law enforcement officials, community activists, and everyday citizens. This creates a more complex and nuanced picture of each of the communities, and helps to underscore the challenges that are faced by everyone involved.

Ultimately, Louis Theroux: Dark States is a powerful and thought-provoking series that shines a light on some of the most pressing issues facing communities across the United States. It is an important work that asks tough questions, and demands thoughtful consideration from its viewers.

Louis Theroux: Dark States
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Murder in Milwaukee
3. Murder in Milwaukee
October 22, 2017
Milwaukee is said to be one of the most racially divided and impoverished cities in the US. With spiraling gun crime and homicide rates, this Midwestern city encapsulates America's complex and troubled relationship with guns and the increasing disharmony between African-American communities and the police.In this episode, Louis spends time with the Milwaukee Police Department as they patrol District 5, home to some of the nation's deadliest streets, with a homicide rate over twelve times the national average, and follows the homicide division as they investigate one of the city's many killings. He also embeds with a family who have recently lost a loved one to gun crime, and he meets a local social activist, once a criminal and gang leader herself, who has turned her life around and is coming up with her own solution to the blight of gun crime. On the streets of Milwaukee, Louis discovers a community who is often misunderstood by, and mistrustful of, the police. Arriving at a time of heightened tension between the police and the African-American community due to a recent police shooting, Louis hears from both sides of the debate and uncovers hope in a desperate city.
Trafficking Sex
2. Trafficking Sex
October 15, 2017
Houston, the fourth largest city in the US, is widely considered to be the number one hub for human trafficking in North America. The US Department of Justice estimates that at least one in five of all the country's victims are trafficked through the city, and most of these people will be forced to work in the sex industry. In Dark States - Trafficking Sex, Louis spends time with American women working in the city's illegal sex industry and explores the often complex dynamic between prostitute and pimp. He discovers a subculture that plays by rules that are morally challenging to most people and seeks to understand what stops these women breaking free. Louis also embeds with law enforcement on undercover operations and meets Vice Division officers tasked with persuading the working women to speak out against their pimps.
Heroin Town
1. Heroin Town
October 8, 2017
America's love affair with prescription painkillers has led to widespread dependency on opiates. But following a crackdown on their over-prescription, where does this leave the two million Americans who have developed a habit for these high-strength painkillers?With the pills now becoming increasingly expensive and scarce on the black market, vast numbers of Americans have turned to the cheaper and stronger opiate: heroin. The drug now claims more lives in the US than either car accidents or gun crime. And, for the first time in over two decades, life expectancy in the US is declining - largely attributed to the rise in fatal heroin overdoses.In Huntington, West Virginia, Louis Theroux embeds himself in an Appalachian community that is being devastated and stretched to its limits by widespread heroin use. With one in ten babies in the city born dependent on opiates and a fatal overdose rate 13 times the national average, this is the epicentre of the most deadly drug epidemic in US history.Louis spends time with the user community caught in the vice-like grip of drug misuse and follows the emergency services struggling to cope with multiple overdoses each day.
  • Premiere Date
    October 8, 2017
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (1,159)