The life of Osho has intrigued many when the godman lived and even posthumously his life attracts a lot of attention. But what really made his life come in the scanner was the sudden move by his followers to shift base from Pune in India to a ranch in Oregon, USA. Netflix has put together the entire journey in a web series titled Wild Wild Country.
The series opens up portraying the frenzy that Osho commanded amongst his followers. Even someone who hasn’t much read about Osho prior the web series will get a sneak peek into his popularity.
The documentary features first account of many followers of Osho/Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who liked to be called as Rajneeshis. All foreigners, they shifted base to Pune to experience the enlightenment through Bhagwan. But owing to the emergency situation in India and the growing discord between the Indian government and the Rajneesh movement, Osho had to shift base to a ranch in Oregon and also shifted his many followers with him.
While the world believes that it was Rajneesh who called the shots, it was in fact his personal secretary Ma Anand Sheela who decided that the movement be shifted to Wasco County, Oregon. Since many of the followers were American citizens, Wasco County was rechristened as Rajneeshpuram in a lawful manner.
Once the shift happened, the spiritual movement took an unexpected turn. Sheela goes on an infrastructure building spree, much to the dismay of the locals. Seeing the rise in the movement as a threat to the local culture, the residents and the local authorities try to control the growth of the movement.
Sheela, on the other hand, resorts to unheard of tactics like collating the homeless and bringing them to the Ashram to win the local elections with an undisputed majority. This instigates the locals and what follows is a maddening narrative and just gets worse with every episode.
What’s WOW? The documentary is full of information and even for a non-Osho follower, it is engaging and instructive.
What’s Blah? At six episodes of an hour each, the series seems a bit elongated. But it is never boring.
Parting Shot: If you are a fan of mysteries and also politics, Wild Wild Country will be just the kind of series that will keep you engaged.
Director: Chapman Way and Maclain Way
Wild Wild Country is now streaming on Netflix
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