Marjorie Strum’s documentary The Cult of JT LeRoy is an insider’s look at the decade-long hoax perpetrated by Laura Albert centered around the dramatic and tragic life of artist JT LeRoy–who turned out to be a fictional character created by Albert.
As Strum tells KQED Arts, “I think it really shows the power of a con artist, a cult leader, to twist and warp reality through charisma and lies. I think the story is confusing enough that I give some people the benefit of the doubt that they don’t fully understand the facts about it all. And some people prefer a good story to the facts. I don’t doubt that the people who Laura is ensnaring now are empathetic sorts who think she is a victim somehow. That is who con artists go after. I think we want to believe that we live in some sort of civilization, and it’s quite disconcerting that our world is as predatory as it is. We don’t expect this from artists. We expect this from Wall Street and wars.”
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