STF is proud to preview one of the most anticipated documentary series of the year. Sibling directors Maclain and Chapman Way (The Battered Bastards of Baseball) delve into a religious cult mystery with multiple twists and turns. STF offers a rare chance to watch the first two episodes on the big screen, followed by a conversation with the filmmakers, before the full series arrives on Netflix a few days later. They’re joined for the Q&A by Mark Duplass (creator of the series Room 104 and Togetherness, among his many credits) who executive produced Wild Wild Country with his brother Jay.
Program note from the 2018 Sundance Film Festival catalog:
On a quiet day in 1981, disciples of an obscenely wealthy religious guru named Bhagwan Rajneesh suddenly appear in the small, conservative Oregon town of Antelope, dressed in all red and with portraits of their leader hanging from their necks. This, of course, makes the townsfolk uneasy.
The Rajneesh followers spend over $125 million to build Rajneeshpuram, a 64,000-acre utopia, complete with a hospital, schools, restaurants, a shopping mall, and their own airport. The spokesperson for the movement is Ma Anand Sheela, a fearless disciple whose belief in the principles of Rajneesh are only outweighed by her feisty spirit. In order to stack the results of county elections in their favor, the Rajneesh bus thousands of homeless people onto the ranch. When these new recruits are denied voting rights by the state, Rajneesh leaders surreptitiously infect local restaurants with salmonella, resulting in the largest biochemical terrorist attack on U.S. soil. And that’s only the beginning…