Ma Anand Sheela
Ma Anand Sheela

There is a certain mystery and allure surrounding controversial figures and Ma Anand Sheela might make it to the top of this list. For those of you who don’t know, Ma Anand Sheela born Sheela Ambalal Patel was one of the highest-ranking spokespersons of the Osho movement. And ever since then, she had been accused and found guilty of several attempted murders and the 1984 bio terror attack.

The world cannot get enough of her as people want to know more about this character. Be it her outspoken personality or her astounding journey, Ma Anand Sheela is and will always be a controversial (yet sassy) figure. After the phenomenal reception to Wild Wild Country, Netflix returns with Searching For Sheela’, a raw, authentic docu-film that explores Sheela’s journey through India after 34 long years and sheds light on her new life post serving time for her alleged crimes.

With the focus entirely on Sheela and her personality, the docu-film explores her journey through India, her big homecoming, while reminiscing about her early life and looking forward to what’s next! It digs deeper in search of Sheela’s true self, her life, and perspective. Does Sheela seek redemption or remain completely unaffected? Was Sheela a criminal or a woman in love? Is Sheela good or bad, black or white?

Commenting on ‘Searching for Sheela’ and her journey, Sheela Birnstiel said:

Searching for Sheela’ will give you a glimpse of my real self, my identity, my life and its evolution over the last 40 years. This film is about my journey of returning to my home in India, a journey I have longed for many years. It captures the rollercoaster of emotions I experienced on this journey very well. I am looking forward to sharing my story with the world

Speaking about the docu-film, Executive Producer, Shakun Batra said,

I have always been very intrigued by Sheela’s extraordinary life and through this documentary we’ve shadowed her as she traveled to India after almost 35 years. This is not an investigative piece, just an observation of a person who has had a questionable past and has always lived life on her own terms. We trace her journey as she grapples with society’s expectations of an ex-convict and attempts to re-brand the public opinion of herself. ‘Searching for Sheela’ is a documentary that tries to get a closer look at one of the most sensationalized personalities in India and I am grateful to Netflix for providing us with a platform and a safe space to share her story.

While Sheela’s life in itself is enticing enough for us at MissMalini, we have an added bonus to look forward to. Back when Ma Anand Sheela had visited Mumbai in 2019, our boss lady Malini Agarwal aka MissMalini herself had interviewed her. So, our boss lady is part of the docu-film as well, you’ll catch her speaking to Ma Sheela towards the end of the trailer. Our exclusive interview with Ma Anand Sheela spoke volumes in itself, so we can only imagine what the docu-film will reveal.

Check out the trailer below:

Stay tuned for our interview with Ma Anand Sheela and catch Searching For Sheela on Netflix on 22nd April 2021.