Hindi film producer Subhash Ghai has teamed up with Italian company Navala Productions for a biopic on the godman Rajneesh. The film, titled Osho: Lord of the Full Moon, “will contain action from the time that India gained independence from British colonial rule, as well as more poetic flashbacks”, according to a Variety report. The project was announced on the sidelines of the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.
The movie will be directed by Italian filmmaker Lakshen Sucameli from a screenplay by Sucameli and Kamlesh Pandey. Sucameli founded Navala Productions in 1992, and has directed two films, Blue Line and Zorba the Buddha. According to a fund-raising website set up for the biopic, Sucameli has been a Rajneesh disciple since 1978, and has lived and worked at the cult’s ashrams in Pune and Oregon.
The controversial activities at the Oregon ashram, in a place christened Rajneeshpuram, led to accusations of immigration fraud against Rajneesh. He left the United States of America in 1985, and died in Pune in 1990. The Rajneeshpuram chapter is the focus of the Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country.
According to a synopsis on the fundraising website, Sucameli’s biopic has been inspired both by Oliver Stone’s conspiracy thriller J.F.K and Bernardo Bertolucci’s biopic Little Buddha. The film will explore the Oregon episode and the godman’s death through the character of a television reporter: “Clara, a female journalist, is the key to revealing the series of events that lead to the controversial expulsion of the spiritual master from The United States in 1985, and his death in India in 1990.”
Ghai’s Mukta Arts has produced such hits as Hero, Karma, Ram Lakhan, Saudagar and Khalnayak. After a series of flops in the 2000s, Ghai focused his energies on running the film school Whistling Woods International and acquiring and operating cinema chains.