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The personal secretary to cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Sheela didn’t initially come to Oregon in the early 1980s to cause trouble. But after her attempts to build Rajneeshpuram — a multi-million dollar utopia in a remote part of the state — were met with resistance, she went on the offensive.
For Duplass, who executive produced “Wild Wild Country,” Sheela’s resolve kind of reminds him of his early days in filmmaking.
Sheela - Love - Excitement - Community - Cinema
“Sheela started with ideological love and excitement to build this community, which is very similar to how I came into independent cinema,” Duplass told IndieWire’s TURN IT ON podcast. “I just want to make my creative stuff and make it good. But then Sheela started to get threatened and she accidentally realized that she was an incredible game player and an incredible political maneuverer. Maybe didn’t even know that until she got in that position, which is exactly what happened to me.
“I went and made some studio movies, and I was like, ‘I’m not going to be able to do what I want to do,’ and I started to feel threatened, and then I tried to build a whole new system that worked for me,” he said. “I started lashing out and pushing away people and saying, ‘F–k you guys, I’m going to do things my way.’ I totally identify with Sheela. I haven’t had to poison anybody yet. But I really feel that thing. When I get threatened, I turn, and people who work with me see that. Mark’s such a nice guy, but if you tell him he can’t do something the way he wants to do it, watch the f–k out!”
Directors - Chapman - Way - Maclain - Way
Directors Chapman Way and Maclain Way stumbled across the story of Sheela while going through hundreds of hours of footage (saved by local TV stations and archived at...
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