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  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 16, 2018
Wild Wild Country Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

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  • Summary: An Indian guru's plans to build a 64,000-acre utopia in a small Oregon town in 1981 that eventually escalated into a bio-terror attack in 1984 is the subject of the Duplass brothers-produced documentary series from Chapman and Maclain Way.
  • Genre(s): Documentary
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Mar 16, 2018
    100
    It’s a challenging piece that requires the viewer to acknowledge their own reactions and then question them. In that, Wild Wild Country may be even more vital to a divided nation. It demands you see the other side.
  2. Reviewed by: Nick Allen
    Mar 16, 2018
    90
    After the six-plus hours of Wild Wild Country flies by, you won't want an approach to this story any different or shorter than what the Ways do. ... By handling this story so intelligently and by opening its heart to a very complicated idea of good and evil, Wild Wild Country has a profound, mesmerizing power itself.
  3. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Jan 25, 2018
    80
    Screened at the Sundance Film Festival in one exhausting, gripping gulp, it's a slice of partially forgotten history in which real life just keeps getting more and more outlandish and implausible. ... Wild Wild Country a worthwhile thought experiment in addition to a yarn that is, as the title promises, doubly wild.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Mar 16, 2018
    80
    A highly pleasurable new documentary series.
  5. Reviewed by: Katie Rife
    Mar 16, 2018
    75
    Wild Wild Country ends up being a character study, an attempt to suss out whether Bhagwan and Sheela really bought what they were selling to white spiritual seekers, making millions in the process. ... That being said, the filmmakers’ tendency to skim over the more unseemly aspects of a story with many unseemly aspects to it may leave viewers wanting to know more about the wilder aspects of the case.
  6. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Mar 12, 2018
    70
    In an effort to provide both sides of the story, the directors--especially in late, slow-motion-drenched elegiac passages full of uplifting and/or mournful music—buy too much of the pap being sold by the sannyasins. ... As a portrait of militant zeal and religious conflict, Wild Wild Country is a fascinating glimpse at the perils of fanaticism-run-amok and the contentious intersection between faith and freedom.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Mar 16, 2018
    70
    [Chapman and Maclain Way] haven’t given it much of a shape or a perspective--they go from one mind-blowing event and image to the next, and seem to just adopt the point of view of whoever’s talking at the moment, reinforcing it with correspondingly bright or sad or triumphant music (which becomes increasingly intrusive). Their own attitude, as far as it can be divined, appears to be a credulous sentimentality. But it is a great story, even if you just turn on the camera and let it roll.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. Mar 22, 2018
    10
    As documentaries go, Wild Wild Country is aces. A thoroughly detailed and gripping recount of one of the largest, most bizarre cultAs documentaries go, Wild Wild Country is aces. A thoroughly detailed and gripping recount of one of the largest, most bizarre cult communities in the world, settled in a vast American landscape. The cinematography is terrific and the footage and interviews must have taken years to amass. What makes it truly great are the details of the stories that came out of the era all perfectly backed up by the major players and interesting sub-players who were involved. They tell their stories intensely, with uncanny detail, without holding back a single secret. As a story it stands astounding on its own. As it relates to real life, as always, the history rhymes with other megalomaniacal figures and organizations. Expand
  2. Apr 4, 2018
    10
    A remarkable and amazing story. It's interesting to see how hate was met with hate, anger with anger, violence with violence, and the wholeA remarkable and amazing story. It's interesting to see how hate was met with hate, anger with anger, violence with violence, and the whole thing came tumbling down. Antelope residents got their town back, but it wasn't the same anymore.

    Compare this story to the story of Fairfield, Iowa where many of the same kind of emotions and devotion were present, in this case toward Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Maharishi University of Management that was once Parsons College. The difference was that in Fairfield, the "Ru's" (short for "gurus") as the TM people were called, met hate with love, anger with acceptance, and chose to participate with the original Fairfield residents in creating a better community. As a result, the violence and hatred that was present in the early days in Fairfield has disappeared. The Mayor is a "Ru" who has served nine terms and been re-elected by both non-TMers as well as devoted TM practitioners.

    For whatever reasons, Osho did not culture that quality of love and acceptance among his followers and so Rajneeshpuram became a Christian country club for teenagers rather than a monument to the power of his teachings.

    Seems to me there's a lesson there for all of us. How will we choose to respond to those who criticize us or oppose us?
    Expand
  3. May 21, 2018
    10
    One of the best documentaries I have ever seen. It tackles important topics of minority discrimination, religious tolerance, cult formation,One of the best documentaries I have ever seen. It tackles important topics of minority discrimination, religious tolerance, cult formation, indoctrination, group loyalty and the dark side of the human psyche. It is very entertaining from beginning to end, and it has some amazing archival footage combined with in-depth interviews with many of the people who were there. It attempts to be fair to both sides by just showing the facts and revealing the motivations and struggles that led to the various horrible events. Whether or not it manages to tell the full story, I found this documentary to be exceptionally educational. And from a popcorn point of view, it is gripping as hell. Expand
  4. Apr 13, 2018
    7
    What I like about this documentary series is that it doesn't take sides and show a lot of people involved, even in crimes. The clash betweenWhat I like about this documentary series is that it doesn't take sides and show a lot of people involved, even in crimes. The clash between cultures is well shown and they let you make your own conclusions Expand
  5. Mar 27, 2018
    7
    I was 13 when I decided to step aside from any religion or spiritual stuff and that is because I believe religion is the worst disease theI was 13 when I decided to step aside from any religion or spiritual stuff and that is because I believe religion is the worst disease the human race ever had.
    I respect the decision of all people to believe in some sort of deity, if it makes them happy, go ahead but for me it has always been a burden.

    What happened in this place didn't really have something to do with religion per se but it does have to do with one of it's worst elements; when people abandon rationality because of their faith or their ''spiritual guidence''

    I honestly didn't know about the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his Rajneeshpuram community but I'm not surprised of how things started to get out of control, especially with people like Ma Anand Sheela, who undoubtedly got drunk with power and used her resources and the people who supported her to do what he did.

    This original Netflix documentary is divided into 6 episodes of 65 minutes or so and frankly is very is well done, the subject was quite attractive, I liked it, although I think its lenght could be somewhat smaller but in the end it's sufficiently relevant and fascinating to reflect after watching it or to have excellent conversation topic afterwards.
    Expand
  6. Apr 15, 2018
    7
    A slow pace, brooding and provoking, a conclusion no real answers....but compelling
  7. Mar 21, 2018
    0
    The lowlife, christian(supposedly), scum should sit down and read the US Constitution. These people were not bothering anyone. They shouldThe lowlife, christian(supposedly), scum should sit down and read the US Constitution. These people were not bothering anyone. They should have been left alone. Didn't the same thing happen to the Mormons? They started Utah. It is good to see nothing changed, I am disgusted with these so called americans. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews

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