2019 | Documentary | 74 min. | Russia

Carlos Castaneda is often called the “godfather” of the human potential movement. His name and life are surrounded by many contradictions, fictions and legends. This film feature Castaneda’s closest apprentices as well as major experts in modern spiritually oriented psychology who lift the veil on the greatest mystery of his life: the stormy search of how to become REAL.

Directors statement

Carlos Castaneda is often called the “godfather” of the human potential movement. His name and life are surrounded by many contradictions, fictions and legends. I’ve read Castaneda's first four books in 1980 and for many years I’ve became his admirer and the researcher of his world that is not surprising: millions of people in different countries, including A. Tarkovsky, F. Fellini, A. Jodorowsky, D. Lynch, J. Lucas, O. Stone, G.G. Márquez, K. Fuentes, J. Rulfo, Octavio Paz, P. L. Travers (author Mary Poppins), Jim Morrison (Doors), V. Pelevin and others admired him. Its books directly affected the trilogy "Matrix", "Star Wars" and many other well-known cultural projects. Castaneda captivated the minds of many searchers when he published his first books of confessions about his apprenticeship with Don Juan — a Yaqui tribe Indian. After many years of unsuccessful attempts to locate real Don Juan and cross-cultural research into Castaneda’s texts there emerged doubts as to their scientific authenticity. However, his gift to humanity might well surpass that of science. Any attempt to understand Castaneda's world faces an ambiguity and uncertainty around his life, books, their sources and the realities and characters described in his books. Therefore, any Castaneda's research and comprehension has to clearly, first of all, key contradictions and to reply to the most important questions. — Are his books the description of real events or an invention? Whether Don Juan, its tradition and team was real or not? What are unique features of this tradition? Who was Carlos Castaneda in life? — This film is the investigation and the search of the answer to these questions. It is based on interview with Castaneda’s closest apprentices as well as major experts in modern spiritually oriented psychology who personally knew Castaneda and, sometimes, played an important role in his life. Some of them are already died, others are in old age, the other (close apprentices) had never spoke about him so frankly and, probably, will never speak. Therefore, a lot of stuff in this film are unique and becomes known to general public for the first time. Castaneda tried not to leave any traces, practicing "erasing of personal history" and even now there is no traces of his videos and only a few authentic photos. Here for the first time we can feel real Castaneda in bright portraits of his close communicants. Many readers consider Castaneda limited, rational and silly person, — as it described himself, especially in the first books, - whereas in life as apprentices and great psychologists speak about him, he was the true genius with gift of mimic and the parody who could mimic anybody with great sense of humor. The explanation of uniqueness of tradition of Don Juan and the reason of its dissimilarity on all other authentic Latin American traditions is for the first time offered. The reality of all heroes described in its books is confirmed. The difficult and inconsistent question about reality of all situations described in its books and about possible loans from the advanced world philosophy and ethnography is cleared up. Keys to understanding of texts of Castaneda from the different periods of creativity are provided.

Director: Vladimir Maykov

Producer: Vladimir Maykov

Сast: Arnold Mindell, Bruce Wagner, Grigory Kovalev, Michael Murphy, Michael Harner, Renata Murez, Sergey Moskalev, Stanislav Grof, Stanley Krippner, Sven Doehler, Toni Karam and Amy Mindell

Studio: Metafora Production