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Wild Wild Country

“With every crown comes the guillotine”

Exuding an immense level of profundity; here, in the bowels of the Way Brothers, we find a true-life mini-series that taps into the very fabric of human capacity. It taps deeply and with prejudice, collecting in its pedagogical wave of expression incredible stories and overlapping subject-matters that seem only too convenient to be real. And that is precisely what the show warned you would happen. Without ruining the details, here is a quick summary and then I will shut up.

Brothers Chapman and Maclain Way chronicle the incredible tale of the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and thousands of his devotees, also called sannyasins, who moved to Antelope, Oregon, a rural community southeast of Portland, to establish their own Heaven on Earth prototype. Bhagwan arrived in 1981, inaugurating years of clashes with local residents, who wanted nothing more than for their new neighbors to pack up and leave. What followed was an array of theological, legal, and cultural overlapping narratives that compliment the direction of the film in its brilliant use of music, cinematography (Adam Stone), and story telling.

In the midst of the Netflix indiscriminate welcome of content that largely serves to waste the time of viewers, once in a while you will find a true pearl of cinematic brilliance: Wild Wild Country is that gem.

RATING: A-


For those interested in more, see this fine display of investigative journalism by the reporters at The Oregonian and the recent interview in the Columbia Journalism Review.

 

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