Wild Wild Country is a Netflix documentary series that premiered in March 2018, exploring the fascinating and controversial story of the Rajneeshpuram community located in Wasco County, Oregon, USA. The series focuses on the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho and his one-time personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela, as well as their community of followers.
The documentary series features six episodes and offers a detailed look into the events surrounding the Rajneeshpuram community, which was established in the early 1980s. The title of the series is derived from the Bill Callahan song “Drover,” which features prominently in the final episode and echoes the comments of Jane Stork, also known as Ma Shanti B, who described the ranch as “wild country” in the beginning of episode two.
The series highlights the cult-like dynamics of the group, the political and legal battles with the local community and the allegations of bio-terrorism that ultimately led to the downfall of the community. The first episode of the series introduces viewers to the community and its leader, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and also sheds light on the tensions between the community and the local residents and government officials.
In subsequent episodes, the series delves deeper into the community’s attempts to build its own city, its political battles with the local government and its expansion of influence and power. The series also explores the roles of key figures such as Bhagwan’s personal secretary, Ma Anand Sheela, who became a central figure in the events that unfolded.
The documentary series paints a vivid picture of the escalating tensions between the community and the local residents, culminating in the poisoning of the local water supply and allegations of bio-terrorism. The final episode of the series examines the aftermath of the community’s downfall, including the arrest and conviction of Ma Anand Sheela and other high-ranking members of the group and features interviews with former members of the community reflecting on their experiences.
Netflix’s Wild Wild Country has become a critically acclaimed and highly popular documentary series that explores the fascinating and controversial story of the Rajneeshpuram commune in Oregon. The show has received critical acclaim for its in-depth and compelling exploration of a little-known chapter in American history.
Thorough and Well-Researched Storytelling:
One of the main reasons why the show has been so successful is its thorough and well-researched approach to storytelling. The show’s creators spent years gathering information, conducting interviews with former members of the group and members of the local community and combing through court records and news articles to present a comprehensive and nuanced look at the events surrounding the commune.
Compelling and Emotional Storyline
Another reason for the show’s success is its compelling and emotional storyline. The show presents a complex and multi-layered narrative that includes themes of faith, power, politics and human nature. Viewers are drawn in by the fascinating characters and the high-stakes drama of the conflicts between the commune and the local community, as well as the personal struggles of individual members of the group.
Wild Wild Country: Contemporary Relevance
Wild Wild Country is also relevant to contemporary issues and debates in society, making it an important and timely piece of storytelling. The show touches on topics such as religious freedom, immigration, land use and the role of the media in shaping public opinion, all of which are still highly relevant today.
Wild Wild Country: Accuracy and Attention to Detail
The show has also received praise for its accuracy and attention to detail. While the show takes some creative liberties with the storytelling, the events depicted in the series are largely accurate. The creators of the show worked hard to present a balanced and nuanced portrayal of the events, including interviews with members of the group and members of the local community who were directly involved in the conflicts.
Wild Wild Country: Portrayal of Characters
The show’s portrayal of characters has also been a point of discussion and debate. The series presents a range of complex and sometimes controversial figures, from the charismatic and enigmatic Bhagwan to the calculating and manipulative Ma Anand Sheela. Some have criticized the show for presenting the Rajneeshees in too sympathetic a light, while others have accused the creators of demonizing certain members of the group.
Wild Wild Country: Conclusion
Overall, the success of Wild Wild Country can be attributed to a combination of factors, including thorough and well-researched storytelling, a compelling and emotional storyline, contemporary relevance, accuracy and attention to detail and the complex portrayal of its characters. By shedding light on a little-known chapter in American history, the show provides valuable insight into the dynamics of power, faith and human nature and raises important questions about the nature of community and the role of institutions in shaping society.