Netflix’s Wild Wild Country, conceptualised by the Duplass brothers and directed by the Way brothers, shook the world with its provocative take on spiritual guru, Rajneesh. Featuring a myriad of fascinating real-life characters, the show was its provocative best when it talked about Ma Ananda Sheela. The right-hand woman of Rajneesh and the number two in command of Rajneeshpuram, she impressed many viewers with her tough-talking, dynamic ways. One of the things she said at a news debate – ‘tough titties’ – inspired a gazillion memes.
Wild Wild Country made Ma Anand Sheela a household name across the world and her dialogues ended up becoming pop-culture references. With many demanding a spin-off around Sheela, it seems like Netflix has an answer to the many prayers. They just dropped a teaser of a documentary that charts the life-story of Sheela and her globe-trotting ways after the worldwide success of Wild Wild Country.
View this post on Instagram
Sheela fled prosecution in USA, where she was accused of poisoning an entire town and covering up many crimes that took place within the confines of Rajneeshpuram. Rajneesh’s official spokesperson for a better part of the decade in the ’80s, she was privy to the town’s troubling paper-trail around the daily administration.
Some of us will obviously hope that the documentary looks at its subject with discernment, without turning Sheela into a ‘success story’. There’s no doubt that she has a fascinating story, but it’s also important for the Netflix documentary to exercise caution when it comes to depiction of controversial figures like her. One can only hope that the documentary gives us some answers to inconvenient questions about Ma Anand Sheela.