Updated: March 30, 2018 4:56 pm
Wild Wild Country: This six-part docu-series uncovers everything that went behind the making of Osho’s city Rajneeshpuram. The more time we spent talking to everyone we realised everyone had valid reasons and concerns for how they interpreted the full story,” said Chapman. Netflix is such a global company that you hear things from all over the world that never really came across your desk while you were making the series. Hence, their religious beliefs were nowhere on the radar while telling this story, “We felt it was important for us to suspend our judgement of anyone’s belief.”
The series premiered on March 16 and since then, a lot of people from around the world have seen and appreciated the series. One from the Rajneeshees, one from the Antelope locals and the third was the legal perspective. “We just saw the wonderful opportunity to work with a larger canvas of six and a half hours and the other thing that we were interested in doing was not just showing one side of the story. Osho aka Rajneesh was an Indian guru whose philosophy was seen as revolutionary by his followers but for the rest of the world, it was a cult. The duo already had archival footage of over 300 hours. Wild Wild Country directors Chapman Way and Maclain Way. Many of the participants have also got in touch with the directors and are glad they got a chance to tell their side of the story. So we were very excited to talk to her,” said Chapman Way. For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App
© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd Through the docu-series, the directors tell the story of the time when Rajneesh, his second-in-command Maa Anand Sheela and thousands of his followers moved to Oregon to create a perfect city where people could live in harmony. For us, it was trying to track down an email address which we did because we knew that Sheela was running these retirement centres for the mentally disabled. Naming it Rajneeshpuram, they set on a journey to show the world that utopia was possible but the events that transpired after their move in 1981 shocked the state of Oregon. To this, Maclain Way said, “At first, we definitely weren’t (planning) just because we have given six and a half hours and it took us about four years to make this film so I definitely felt like we had said everything we wanted to say. We really wanted to give equal weight and equal time to the neighbours of Rajneeshpuram and the Antelope ranchers. They decided to remain objective in their narration because as they proceeded, they realised that every side had reason to believe their version of the story, “We wanted to make this an immersive experience where you really got to hear from the people who lived through it. Mac and I were just blown away by this kind of Herculean effort to create their own community.” The duo spent a lot of time travelling around the world, including India, to interview many Rajneeshees, not all of them made it to the final cut but this helped them with the research. But the big task for them was to track down individuals who were at the helm of this operation, Maa Anand Sheela being the key. His ashram in Pune attracted a lot of Westerners and so the move to Oregon, US could be seen as a way to make it even more global. The brothers shared that they aren’t particularly “spiritual or religious”. After delivering a successful series, do they plan to make more films on Rajneesh’s life? Speaking to indianexpress.com, director Chapman and Maclain way spoke about how they went about making this six-part series. Wild Wild Country, the latest six-part documentary directed by Chapman and Maclain Way about the utopian city of Rajneeshpuram, is a chapter in history that had never been discussed in detail until now. Mass poisoning, wiretapping, election and immigration fraud and many such criminal activities led to the fall of this city but in the docu-series, we see this story from all points of view. The making of this documentary started before Netflix streamed another docu-series Making a Murderer so the concept of docu-series wasn’t quite popular back then. It very quickly became clear that she felt like she never really had an opportunity to completely tell her side of the story in terms of why certain things happened the way that they did at Rajneeshpuram. We wanted to hear from them what it was like for them to have this community to move into their neighbourhood,” Maclain said. I knew she was in Switzerland but I didn’t know much more beyond that. As one watches the episodes, the manipulative and territorial nature of human beings stands out but Chapman said, “They built their own hospitals, they built their own school, their own airport, their own shopping mall. Also Read | Wild Wild Country: This new binge-worthy Netflix series about Osho’s Rajneeshpuram will leave you shocked
They explain that the story has balanced all three points of view. The brothers decided to go ahead with this format of a six-part documentary instead of making a docu-film of 2-3 hours. We have got a wealth of material, but we are undecided on that (whether to stick to the subject of Rajneesh) now.”
Wild Wild Country is currently streaming on Netflix. “Sheela was one of the most tricky (to track down).