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WILD WILD COUNTRY (Documentary) - Its more about America's hidden fear, hate, a failed social experiment in Rajneeshpuram and Sheela, instead of the mystic master OSHO or his spiritual works. (Review by Bobby Sing)
04 Apr, 2018 | Movie Reviews / 2018 Releases

Directed by Chapman and Maclain Way, WILD WILD COUNTRY is a more than six hour long documentary focusing on a major phase or controversy in the life of Indian mystic master OSHO, happening in Oregon, America. 

Then known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, it’s a brilliant film in terms of making, background score and rare archival footage edited together in a highly engaging manner. But at the same time, has been made with a specific purpose solely talking about a certain time period of the 80s, when all disciples popularly known as Rajneeshee’s unbelievably built a complete town on their own in Oregon, locking horns with the local residents and their small community. Headed by an amazingly spirited lady Sheela, the town's management made a lot of serious mistakes leading to self-destruction of a beautiful commune, shocking both the unaware Rajneeshees and the people of America together, that remains the core focus of the documentary presented by Netflix.

Hence WILD WILD COUNTRY is actually all about America's own moral policing/fear/hate, and a failed social experiment in Rajneeshpuram led by Sheela, instead of the mystic master Rajneesh/OSHO or his spiritual works. Putting it differently, either the writers/directors were not aware of the works and vision of the mystic before the 80s or they were simply not interested in that aspect of his life, purposefully concentrating on the ‘American Chapter’ alone as per their professional project. 
 
So where the makers perform their given job perfectly well in the form of an immensely absorbing documentary aptly titled WILD WILD COUNTRY, it is unfortunately also going to misinform and mislead the youngsters born in and after the 90s, introducing them to the phenomenon called OSHO in an utterly wrong manner.
 
Hence, if you are one of those energetic, interested youngsters reading this particular review, then would humbly like to inform that WILD WILD COUNTRY has nothing to do with the Indian Mystic’s revolutionary thoughts, vision or exemplary, gigantic works done in a short span of life. It’s actually all about his personal secretary Ma Anand Sheela (herself narrating in the film), their conflict with the local residents/government and a failed social experiment tried in America, which didn’t work due to the collective mistakes of everyone related to the mystic master, including the master himself. 
 
Besides this cannot and shouldn’t be considered anything as a Rajneesh/Osho biopic giving you only the controversial information, deliberately or unintentionally missing out everything else.
 
In short, Rajneesh/Osho and his works/vision or talks is nowhere in focus in this lengthy yet engrossing documentary to be exact. 
 
Giving a clear example, you will find many write-ups on this film beginning with the term – Sex Guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Actually this one phrase itself reveals that either the writer himself isn’t aware of the Indian mystic’s vision and works or he has already assumed the tag, influenced by the documentary considering it as a kind of revealing bio-pic of the Guru. And you are certainly going to find MANY write-ups out there beginning with this ‘cliched’ phrase.
 
As a matter of fact, I am damn sure, most of the viewers (in fact the majority) would remain stuck with the nude footage shown in the film, which is quite natural, especially for the ones living with a set traditional mindset wherein even a private bath is not experienced naturally taking all the clothes off. So the people not familiar, aware or in love with their own body, are sure going to feel the shock of their life seeing so many naked bodies together doing the visibly weird activities. In other words, SEX always was, is and will remain the most disturbing thing for the majority, getting the maximum attention in a film. And the fact will prove itself yet again with this well-made revealing documentary.
 
Elaborating on the same, what one takes from WILD WILD COUNTRY entirely depends upon who is watching it, with what kind of prior information, mindset, preset notions and experiences of life to be very honest.
So,
If you are looking for controversy, you will find controversy.
If you are looking for Hate, then you will find Hate.
If you are looking for Sex, you will find Sex.
and
If you are looking for Love, you will find Love.
If you are looking for Devotion, you will find Devotion.
If you are looking for Smiles and Celebrations, then you will truly find them both and in great abundance.
 
The film exactly gives, what you personally wish to see in it as per your individual search or choice. And that is only the biggest thing to be aware of, as we really get what we are looking for in life too ……. sooner or later.
 
From cinematic point of view, the first episode of WILD WILD COUNTRY is a sheer treat to watch and I really loved the style it introduces everyone with an outstanding background score and slow motion shots. Plus the way it ends and begins its every episode leaves you asking for more, which interestingly happens to be the key feature of every worth watching TV series too.
 
However the best part of the series comes towards the end, when the last mayor of Rajneeshpuram mentions another of world’s famous mystics GURDIEFF in his talks, who used to put his disciples in unthinkable situations in order to bring out deeper truths of human mind and its existence. These few minutes add a completely new and different dimension to the American Chapter of Osho/Rajneesh’s life, that might not appeal or be clear to many.
 
In the end, I would like to share my personal experience with the young friends in their teens or 20s (and even elders), who either know nothing about OSHO or unfortunately know all the negative things probably conveyed by others who themselves never read or had any personal experience of Osho’s talks or vision.
 
Watching the documentary, you must be having thousands of weird thoughts in mind about the mystic master, the people in red, the group sequences, the poisoning, the guns and ‘the evil cult’ as named by the locals living in the region of Oregon. But it never gives you any idea about what OSHO used to convey in his discourses, his thoughts, his music, his creative ideas of a new man, a new celebrating life full of love, compassion and togetherness.
 
No, the film is not even concerned about that focusing just on the controversy.
 
Believe me, watching all about this ‘crucial phase of his life’ and the disciples or sanyasis in the present, in the year 2018 is Simply Nothing.
 
Now imagine myself reading, watching and knowing everything about Rajneeshpuram in the beginning of 90s, post OSHO’s death, directly from the people having lived there, from some VHS cassettes and still pictures provided by them. Imagine a young college going boy knowing this all causing a big explosion in his life, in the time when there was no cable tv, no internet, no digital revolution and no loads of information just a click away.
 
Moreover, that was the time period when there was much more ‘unaware negativity’ about the master in the people around. And they were all, who had never read/heard a single book/discourse of OSHO, enjoying their own self-assumed image of the master derived from all the falsely spread rumors and biased information.
 
Amongst this kind of burning and negatively influencing environment, I got introduced to OSHO…… luckily by the learned people, who never forced me anything and guided me further to take my own decision.
 
That’s from where I began in those years (drowning myself in deep study of OSHO books, cassettes and periodicals), refusing to get influenced or form any opinion by just watching a few VHS cassettes about Rajneeshpuram or reading mostly negative articles about OSHO. 
 
And thankfully, that very decision remains the most important and fruitful decision of my life experiencing the mystic master’s incredible vision, looking at this very existence in an entirely different way that eventually led to more creativity, joy, love, music, celebration and satisfaction in life that certainly would not have been there, had I taken the negative or negating path.
 
Therefore it’s all about how thoughtfully and quickly you form an opinion about anything you get to see/read in a film/book, or knowing it from any third person having his or her own biased viewpoint.
 
Remember, questioning is never wrong. 
But what’s wrong is accepting an answer by someone else without searching for it yourself making a personal effort.
 
In a few words,
I am really glad that this documentary was made as it will not only help in defining (or revealing) what one is actually looking for in life as an individual, but would also work as a strong FENCE in the future......... FENCE, which one would only be able to overcome 
with 
HIS BLESSINGS

Tags : Wild Wild Country (Documentary) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Wild Wild Country Review by Bobby Sing, Netflix Documentary Review by Bobby Sing
04 Apr 2018 / Comment ( 2 )
mustafa

Sir, read your review and i find myself in similar situation where i am still unaware of the master except the ashram i saw in pune when i visited someone in hospital next to ashram in 2006,i was so confused watching the deciple wearing red uniform and walking naked feet, besides this what i saw on youtube  in some video that Rajneesh ran from india doing some big scam of money to build a town in oregon USA. after reading your detailed writeup i am really keen and interested in learning more about him and his teachings. it will be a great help if you advise from where should i begin.

Bobby Sing

Dear Mustafa,
Its good that you are in a situation where you dont form an opinion but want to read and explore yourself as an indivitual. That is infact the right path in any stream or case regarding anything.
However here I would like to suggest (which I often do with all young and old friends) that instead of reading about any person, you should first begin with what he has to convey or say. 
For instance, instead of knowing the life story of Nanak or Kabir, first one has to know what they taught as spiritual teachers/mystics and then study their biographies after a while.
The problem arises when youngsters try to go the other way which will never tell you the right thing most of the times as no one has a perfect life or family or friends for that matter.

So my suggestion would be read a few of OSHO books first (that are not written but the book form of all his live discources).... and I will be more than willing to help as per your preferred subjects.
Second related suggestion, try to read in the exact language it was spoken, which means try to read the original books and not translated forms (if one knows both Hindi and English and can read in both)

Do let me know as you feel.
Cheers!

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