Saturday, July 28, 2018

Wild, Wild Country

Netflix documentaries are of two kinds : 
The sensational National Geographic sort and the solid informative yet aesthetic sort.
This one is about an Indian guru and his followers moving into and taking over a town in the Oregon wilderness, then moving on to large-scale immigration and voting fraud, arson, poisoning, gun threats... 

Pros :
- The highpoint of the six-episode series was, to my mind, the encounter between the Rajneeshee and the American rednecks of the 1980s. Hilarious.
- Adroitly, the disheartening aspects of the cult surface only gradually as the story unfolds.
- As usual in the second sort of Netflix documentaries, an impressive amount of inside protagonists appear and give their side of the story, we are presented with several point of views and kilometers of archive footage.

Cons :
- As usual in the second sort of Netflix documentaries, it is a wee bit too long. However fascinating the subject matter, I found it hard to stay focused. 
- Bhagwan's teachings about sex and money, for instance, are kept very much under cover. We are offered a lot of intelligence on their actions but very little on their beliefs. 
- I would have appreciated a statement from one or two of the footpeople; the ordinary followers, far from the upper layers of Sheela and Bhagwan.

In short : Too long but very interesting.

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