Brothers Chapman and Maclain Way have spent four years poring over archival records and video footage to make the Netflix docuseries Wild Wild Country. In a lengthy Q&A, they talk about how they got access to so much old footage, how they got to know the controversial Ma Anand Sheela, and why even they still wrestle with who is right and wrong in this complicated story.
I’m one of the people who somehow missed this whole story when it was unfolding. As I understand it, you guys weren’t necessarily familiar with the story either. I think you came upon it because an archivist said, “Oh, by the way, I have footage?”
CW: The project started four years ago in 2014. We had just wrapped our first documentary, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, which took place in Portland, Oregon. We worked with a really prestigious film archive up there, the Oregon Historical Society, and we were talking to an archivist there who was asking us, “What are you guys doing for your next project?” We had a couple of ideas but nothing we were too in love with, and he basically told us, “Look I have 300 hours of archived footage on basically the most bizarre story that ever happened in the state of Oregon.”
Read the full interview here.