David Wants to Fly (2010)

David Wants to Fly (2010)
6.8
  • 603
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release year: 2010 ()
  • Running time: 96 min
  • Original Title: David Wants to Fly
  • Voted: 603

The unprecedented success story of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi began high up in the Himalayas. In the late 50s the guru arrived in Hollywood to propagate his school of meditation and "achieve world peace". He attracted numerous prominent followers, including the Beatles, Mia Farrow and Clint Eastwood. Today almost six million people worldwide practice transcendental meditation (TM). David, a young filmmaker seeking inspiration, is also prepared to give TM a try. Not least because his great professional idol, legendary director David Lynch, has personally assured him that this form of meditation is a great source of creativity and the key to success. David determines to take his hero's word for it: he submits himself to the expensive TM training, receives his personal mantra and has a go at "yogic flying". But incongruities soon begin to pile up. Among other things, the organization of the humble Indian guru has, in the meantime, grown into an empire worth billions. When the Maharishi ...

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  • A refreshingly unpretentious film. by 7

    A young director, who adores David Lynch, wants to learn transcendental meditation. He approaches TM with an unbiased naivety which is slightly shocking. But soon he detects more and more discrepancies in the TM organisation. The TM guys, including Mr Lynch, who at first were very cooperative, now want him to stop filming. When Sieveking begins to meet TM renegades, the organisation gets outright hostile. Lynch threatens to sue him. The film, however, stays pure record-keeping of events. And Sieveking turns to the source. He flies to India to visit the monastery where Marashiri learned his meditation. The successor of Marashiri's teacher says that Marashiri was a crook who had no right to teach meditation and sends Sieveking to the spring of the Ganges for enlightenment. Again, Sieveking does not challenge the words of the guru. The film takes the viewer on a journey. It's Sieveking's journey. Sieveking has not tried to edit the earlier material in the light of his later experiences. And exactly that is what makes this documentary so lively.

  • Maybe if you meditate long enough ... by 5

    Or was it medicate? Seriously though: With a lot of faux documentaries making their rounds, I had to check if they were making stuff up here. Because it wasn't really that entertaining as "Exit through the Gift shop" to name one of the best in recent history. But no the sect/cult/mediation group depicted in this actually really exists. And you may shocked by this, but they want your money.

    I know right? But they offer you so much. Like enlightenment and probably immortality and you know other stuff you crave. Obvious comparisons to Scientology are at hand and there has been a documentary or two about them too. And quite a few good ones, I just recently watched one that really got into the jist of it. This one right here is not a bad effort, but it does feel like a school play. There's a moment where the girlfriend (or not) of the director/star of the movie says "they should not treat you like a film student". Which sounds like a valid point overall and is expressing frustration. Accidentally though it is also revealing. Because if you want to be treated a certain way, you also have to behave a certain way. Or have the charisma to carry out that, let's call it swagger.

    Something our director here does not have in abundance. I'm not trying to be mean here by the way, just keeping it real. This documentary is bizarre to put it mildly and also fascinating to a degree. When it comes to its theme. Because mediation itself is a good thing. And that's one of the things the movie does seem to get right in the end ... pun intended