Documentary - Completed 2009

David Sieveking walks on David Lynch’s path into the world of transcendental meditation (TM). He comes across the founder of this worldwide movement, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, to whom the Beatles already pilgrimed.?

& Awards

Berlinale - Berlin IFF 2010
    • Year of production
    • 2009
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 97 mn
    • Director(s)
    • David SIEVEKING
    • Writer(s)
    • David SIEVEKING
    • EIDR
    • 10.5240/4411-56EB-37C5-42D1-E784-S
    • Producer(s)
    • Carl-Ludwig RETTINGER (LICHTBLICK Film-& Fernsehproduktion GmbH), Johannes ROSENBERGER (Navigator Film), Martin HEISLER, Werner SCHWEIZER (Dschoint Ventsche Filmproduktion AG)
    • Synopsis
    • 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 dies suddenly, conflict over succession arises. David Lynch becomes the organization’s most important international ambassador.

      Despite mounting doubts and a split from his girlfriend, David Sieveking still holds out hope of enlightenment. The young filmmaker sets out on a pilgrimage to the stations of the TM movement. Along the way he manages to come a little too close to some well-kept secrets and David Lynch reacts to the research of the film team by threatening legal action. That really ignites young David’s seeking spirit. He travels all over the USA and then on to India, penetrating ever deeper into the Maharishi’s bizarre empire. Instead of the promised “heaven on earth”, David gazes into abysmal depths. Finally, upon arrival in the Himalayas, at the frigid source of the Ganges, he finds his own truth.

      David Sieveking successfully pulls off a delicate balancing act, telling the story of his investigative truth-seeking as a light-footed journey into the cinematic self. On an adventurous odyssey that takes him from Berlin’s Teufelsberg via Hollywood to the Himalayas he interweaves his spiritual experiences and observations of the eccentric with a gripping gumshoe saga.