Who is Ma Anand Sheela and where is she now?

MA Anand Sheela is one of the most divisive figures in all of India and more recently the star of the widely praised documentary Wild Wild Country.

Otherwise known as Sheela Birnstiel, Sheela was the right-hand woman of controversial cult leader and Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, more commonly known as Osho.

Who is Ma Anand Sheela?

Ma Anand Sheela is the Indian-bornspokeswoman of the controversial Rajneesh movement (aka Osho movement).

In 1986, she pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault for her role in the 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack.

She was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison but paroled after just 39 months.

In 1999, she was convicted again by a Swiss court of "criminal acts preparatory to the commission of murder" in relation to a plot to kill US federal prosecutor Charles Turner in 1985.

Where is she now?

Sheela is now 71-years-old and looking forward to see how her new film is greeted by viewers.

Claiming the film would give the audience a glimpse into her life, she said: “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."

Director of the film, Shakun Batra added: “Searching for Sheela’ is a documentary that tries to get a closer look at one of the most sensationalised personalities in India and I am grateful to Netflix for providing us with a platform and a safe space to share her story.”

When is Searching for Sheela released on Netflix and how can I watch it? 

The docu-film includes a lengthy interview with Sheela herself, and will hit screens via Netflix on April 22.

The official Netflix synopsis of the docu-film reads: "Osho’s controversial and sassy ex-secretary, Ma Anand Sheela returns to India after 34 years of exile and people just can’t get enough of her.

"Searching for Sheela is an intimate look into her journey across India, observing the rebranding of her as a pop-culture icon, with audiences unable to decide if they deem her a "criminal" or remain in awe of her badass secretary days.

"Sheela, now frail and 70, in the twilight of her life, appears to be seeking redemption, but is she? And if she is, does a world consumed by spectacle allow her the space to?"

The trailer for the docu-film is now available to watch both on Netflix and on YouTube before it's full release on Netflix later this month.

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