Ever since the release of the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country, people have been curious about Ma Anand Sheela, her life and her narrative. In the upcoming Shakun Batra documentary called Searching for Sheela, the makers have tried to bring a certain rootedness to the cult of Ma Anand Sheela. A controversial figure of history, Ma Anand Sheela recently spoke to the Film Companion about what one can expect from the new Netflix documentary.
“What you can expect from me? You can’t expect anything from me. I will be only me. So if you are expecting me to be something else, you have lost,” Sheela stated as she answered a question about the potential audience experience while watching Searching for Sheela.
Ma Anand Sheela stated that the Netflix team had her complete and undivided attention as well as free access to her self, her home etcetera. “The team has been with me for more than 25 days. I never say no so they have been tagging along everywhere I go. I arrived in Delhi and since my arrival, the cameras have been following me. We did a few events there, one with Karan Johar, we went to the literature festival in Dehradun, did an event with Barkha Dutt, went to Poona, did a closed-door event there, came to Bombay, then went back to Delhi, then went to Baroda, back to Delhi, then Bombay again,” said Sheela.
Director Shakun Batra, who is executive-producing the documentary, said that contrary to popular opinion, Searching for Sheela was made not because another Netflix doc about the Osho experience was a runaway hit. “You’re exploring society, you’re exploring her (Ma Anand Sheela) as a pop-culture phenomenon, and then the layers get deeper and more interesting and that’s why this homecoming project is important. It’s not, ‘Oh let’s get further because Wild Wild Country was a hit.’ No, let’s see who we are as much as we want to know who she is,” concluded Shakun Batra.
Searching for Sheela will premiere on Netflix on April 22.