Film Reviews — 01 October 2010

Swiss movie about Osho and Sannyas, interviews with Sheela and Shiva; media highlights

As the Swiss movie ‘Guru: Bhagwan, His Secretary & His Bodyguard’ is now being released in various German cities, the press is having another heyday. Satyananda was invited to answer questions after the premiere in Hamburg last weekend.

Satyananda’s article in ‘Stern’ magazine about Osho and the ashram back in 1978 caused a media frenzy. In addition, his book ‘Totally relaxed in the Here and Now’ was a best seller and inspired thousands and thousands of Germans to travel to India to meet Osho and then take sannyas.  Now well over eighty years old and looking so handsome still (always loved that moustache!), the media keeps inviting him for statements and talk shows whenever Osho is in the news.

Satyananda said, “After 98 minutes of Sheela and Shiva, salmonella, firing practices of the Peace Force, homeless people who complained on camera about the fact that the Commune put them back on the road in the middle of November after they were no longer needed, after nitrous oxide and Valium for the master – the “third-class coward” as Sheela called him in the film – after all these wonderful efforts to put the audience in disgust, I wasn’t sure what my appearance would do.

“There were quite a lot of sannyasins in the audience which of course contributed to the mood that moved into a positive direction and everything went very well. I did not comment on the film but focused on speaking about what a spiritual Master is and how it works!”

He continued, “Osho’s prediction has fulfilled itself one hundred percent: the negative media have spread his message globally – at Amazon in Germany there are already more than 140 Osho books available, all rated with 4-5 stars, the highest reader review!”

I saw this movie a few months ago. I enjoyed in particular the marvelous footage; some of it was even new to me although I’ve seen a lot; what Sheela and Shiva had to say is so obviously their reality that no judgment came up. I listened to them without getting stirred up by anything. And – as you know my past work assignments, I enjoy the headlines that are being created and Osho is spoken about everywhere again!

Just for the record, not all headlines about the movie are negative though. Here is a selection Nirguna sent:

Frankfurter Rundschau
“I continue to love Bhagwan.”
(Ich liebe Bhagwan noch immer.)

“A fascinating insight into Bhagwan’s system. One understands the euphoria of the followers. But also the downfall. In addition a dense portrait of the seventies.”
(Ein faszinierender Einblick in Bhagwans System. Man versteht die Euphorie der Anhänger. Aber auch den Niedergang. Zudem ein dichtes Porträt der siebziger Jahre.)

Hamburger Morgenpost
Illuminating critical examination of the Neo-sannyas movement and its initiator.
(Erhellende kritische Auseinandersetzung mit der Neo-Sannyas-Bewegung und ihrem Initiator.)

Hamburger Abendblatt
A very powerful piece of contemporary history
(Ein ganz starkes Stück Zeitgeschichte)

Frankfurter Neue Presse
A careful selection of archival photographs, results in a multi-layered documentary about the former cult leader. Worth seeing.
(Mit der sorgfältigen Auswahl von Archivaufnahmen ergibt sich so eine vielschichtige Dokumentation über den einstigen Sektenführer. Sehenswert.)

“A true picture of the Guru himself, of his teachings and the motivation of his disciples doesn’t’ come across. Should  the subject exert a fascination on the viewer, he/she may choose to study vast amounts of material about those turbulent days and get their own impression.”
(Ein wirkliches Bild vom Guru selbst, von seinen Lehren und der Motivation seiner Jünger will sich nicht vermitteln. Wenn die Thematik auf den Zuschauer eine Faszination ausübt, steht es ihm jedoch frei, Unmengen von Material über jene bewegten Tage zu studieren und sich einen ganz eigenen Eindruck zu verschaffen.)

Nirguna shared his impressions after having seen the movie:
“I’ve seen the film today. It has left me speechless and with tears in my eyes.
And a deep silence within me. And a sentence reverberates in me: We are all Sheela – for better or for worse.

It cannot and won’t say more at this moment.

Just this: This is not one of those usual concoctions, such as we’ve e seen many times before.

This film shows an entirely new standard in the representation of Osho’s work, despite its weaknesses.

The opening image of the film: The vastness and stillness of this image permeates the entire film.
“Silence of the mountains, it is he …” (A song from the ranch)
Watch the movie.
Powerful indeed!”

Satyananda’s website: