Netflix on Monday unveiled the first trailer for Searching for Sheela, and upcoming documentary about Ma Anand Sheela, the controversial one-time aide to spiritual leader Osho. A chapter in their story was previously explored in the Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country.
Here’s a description offered by Netflix: “With the focus entirely on Sheela and her personality, the film explores her journey through India, her big homecoming, while reminiscing about her early life and looking forward to what’s next… Does Sheela seek redemption or remains completely unaffected? Was Sheela a criminal or a woman in love? Is Sheela good or bad, black or white?”
Executive producer Shakun Batra said in a statement, “I have always been very intrigued by Sheela’s extraordinary life and through this documentary we’ve shadowed her as she traveled to India after almost 35 years. This is not an investigative piece, just an observation of a person who has had a questionable past and has always lived life on her own terms.”
He continued, “We trace her journey as she grapples with society’s expectations of an ex-convict and attempts to re-brand the public opinion of herself. Searching for Sheela is a documentary that tries to get a closer look at one of the most sensationalized personalities in India…”
The film, Sheela herself said in a statement, will give viewers a glimpse of her ‘real self’, her ‘identity’, her ‘life and its evolution over the last 40 years.’ It features a glimpse of Sheela’s interaction with Bollywood celebrities, including Karan Johar.
Also read: Ma Anand Sheela hasn’t given Priyanka Chopra permission for biopic, says Alia Bhatt has the necessary spunk to play her
Sheela’s involvement in the ‘1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack’ was documented in Wild Wild Country. In 1986, she pleaded guilty, and has since been living in Switzerland.
Two rival projects on her life are in the works — an Amazon film starring and executive produced by Priyanka Chopra, and another with Alia Bhatt attached, with Shakun directing.