Just hours after Priyanka Chopra announced she is making a film based on Osho’s right-hand woman Ma Anand Sheela, it was learned that Osho International and Michael Hilow have filed suit against Netflix.
In March 2018, Netflix released their award-winning documentary Wild Wild Country that followed the life, career, and controversy of Chandra Mohan Jain, the leader of the Rajneesh movement. Born on December 11, 1931, Jain became a spiritual leader who underwent a series of name changes including Acharya Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and finally Osho. It is by Osho that many of his current devotees refer to him as.
Wild Wild Country used authentic clips from the spiritual commune and some of their secret, therapeutic practices that are now being called into question. The footage from the movie Rajneeshpuram: An Experiment To Provoke God was also allegedly used without permission causing Michael Hilow to join in the suit.
Netflix isn’t the first media group to tackle the subject of Osho or the spiritual commune Rajneeshpuram that took over the town of Antelope, Oregon. In 1989, at the height of the controversy, the documentary Rajneesh: Spiritual Terrorist aired. No documentary, however; used as many materials from the group or interviewed as many people who were directly involved with the Rajneeshpuram as Wild Wild Country has due to the length of the Netflix series.
A documentary filmmaker and Swiss company claim their works featuring Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, known as Osho, were used without permission in the Netflix docuseries. https://t.co/EoQWoAwqn8
— INDIE DOCUMENTARY (@HighBanksE) February 1, 2019
Osho International Foundation and Michael Hilow, who directed and wrote the 1993 film Rajneeshpuram: An Experiment to Provoke God (available to watch for Amazon Prime members), state that their works were used without their permission. The Osho International Foundation has claimed copyright to Osho’s (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s) teachings.
There is no doubt that if you watch Rajneeshpuram: An Experiment to Provoke God, you will see footage that appears in Wild Wild Country. It may end up being a matter for courts to decide whether the makers of Wild Wild Country had the rights to access that footage. The lawsuit states that not only were Osho’s copyrighted works used, but more than 12 minutes of footage from Rahneeshpuram: An Experiment to Provoke God was used without permission.
Rahneeshpuram: An Experiment to Provoke God is 56 minutes long.
It’s unclear where this lawsuit will go or how Netflix will respond to the complaint. Priyanka Chopra revealed in her interview with Ellen DeGeneres that she plans to create a movie focused on Ma Anand Sheela with Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Wag the Dog, Toys).
Stay tuned as we’ll bring you more updates as this lawsuit progresses.
Did you watch Wild Wild Country? What did you think of the movie?