Osho was known as ‘krantikari phool’ – Krishan Hooda
Pushing the envelope of cinema, Director Krishan Hooda brings to the silver screen the biopic of a globally renowned and loved spiritual guru, Osho. With Rebellious Flower the filmmaker delves deeper into the life of one of India’s most revered gurus, exploring the early years of his being. Krishan Hooda opens up about the making of this unique film, the experience of winning the ‘Special Mention Jury Award’ at Salento International Film Festival and more.
How was the idea of Rebellious Flower conceptualized?
I had this fantastic opportunity to meet this gentleman named Jagdish Bharti, who later became my producer. He wanted to make a film on Osho as he has been a follower of his for 20 years. We got into talking about films and he liked my work and we got along really well. That is how we came together to make Rebellious Flower.
Is there a story behind the name, ‘Rebellious Flower’?
Yes, actually, there is. If you translate the title of the movie into Hindi it becomes ‘krantikari phool’, which was a name that Osho was known by. People used to call him a rebellious flower because he had the fragrance of the flower but was a rebel as he would question everything. Osho was the combination of softness and hardness hence we named the film Rebellious Flower.
What kind of research went into the making the film?
My producer was with Osho for around 20 years, so he was a big help to me. He is also a published author who has published rare books on Osho as he was very close to him and knew a lot of things that a normal person would not know. All that information greatly helped me.
I then did my research which involved talking to Osho’s family and the people who have been with Osho. We shot on real locations and while scouting for these places, we met people who have been with Osho and got to know a lot from the places and local people instead of Google.
Since the movie is based on the early years of Osho, how difficult was it to capture the character?
I was very lucky in this case, because I had Jagdish (Bharti) with me. He has been with Osho and seen a lot so he was there to guide me about everything. Whenever I had any doubts, he would clear them and I would work according to his inputs.
What is the most fascinating aspect of Osho’s life that drew you to make a film on him?
The kind of freedom he had, the way he spoke, and the kind of personality that he was, were the things that fascinated me about his character. He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and did not care about what people around thought about him. Another thing about his character, which according to me is very important is that Osho was very humorous; he could find humor in anything. If you spoke to him, he would make you laugh without you realizing it. In spite of being a guru or a spiritual leader, he was humorous and would crack jokes.
The film won the ‘Special Mention Jury Award’ at the Salento International Film Festival. Tell us about the reception you received there and the experience?
It was fabulous because as a filmmaker, I did not think that this concept would be so well received at a film festival. The film is a biopic on a spiritual leader and in festivals most of the films revolve around human emotions. This film too deals with human emotions, but in a different way. We were very happy when we got the official selection and went to Italy. I met a lot of people and got to know that there are a lot of Osho followers in Italy so a lot of people were keen to know about our movie as compared to other films.
Osho is a controversial figure. Are you apprehensive about the way the film will be received?
Rebellious Flower is part one of Osho’s life. This film is based between 1942 to 1952 and Osho received enlightenment at the age of 21 in 1952. Part two of the film will be based on the years post 1952, when he was enlightened. The controversy started much later, so this question will actually be more relevant to part two, which we will soon start shooting.
With an audience that is too hung up on mainstream cinema, where do you think do independent movies like Rebellious Flower stand?
Osho has a big fan following from all around the world and his followers are present worldwide. Therefore, there is a big audience for the movie. And even in general things are changing. There are a lot of good filmmakers that are emerging as supporters of short films and releasing them. Things are getting better because people with money and talent are coming up with good ideas.
Any advice for fellow filmmakers?
My advice would be to simply go ahead and make a film. Don’t wait for it to happen on its own. Always carry your script and not just one, but at least 4 to 5 of your scripts. You never know when you meet somebody who has the potential to make your film. This was the formula that worked for me because I would always carry my scripts and in case somebody asked me to send the synopsis or the script, I could send it right away. This would also help in establishing a good and powerful first impression as they understand that you are not fooling around, but talking about doing genuine work and then they take you seriously.