Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator (2019) Poster

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Finally a doco exposing Bikram as the predator and criminal that he is
justapeachperth20 November 2019
I was waiting in anticipation for this documentary as someone who has been aware of the allegations made against Bikram for a few years now. As a yogi myself and someone who has been to Bikram yoga the documentary explores the benefits of his classes but also exposes the shady and disgusting and cult like way he made his empire. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of studios soon distance themselves from the Bikram brand and rebrand as simply "hot yoga". The documentary was impeccably put together and a must watch for any yogi
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I want to puke!
nomodusproject26 November 2019
I really want to puke. Not because of the movie. I like the movie. But looking at the guy Bikram, OMG, why would anyone listen to that kind of person. So strange!
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Predator in Yogi clothing
carolinecennis21 November 2019
To anyone claiming this is one-sided: they can't edit in what you didn't say. Bikram's own interactions with the prosecutor told the story. This man felt he was above everyone and women most of all. His contempt and narcissism is palpable when you see his responses. That said- those attending his classes all silently (some vocally) condoned this abhorrent behavior. You can see how some become natural born cult leaders as there are sheep aplenty.
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Patrice Simon is disgusting.
katborland1726 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Throughout this entire production, the criminal and lascivious behavior of this human garbage pail of a so-called man is non-negotiable. And at the end of the film, Patrice Simon, a yoga studio owner, states she hopes he's still able to hold his training sessions again where he was found to be raping and assaulting his students In the first place. This is the kind of woman every woman should fear. She knows no friends other than those from whom she can gain something. The movie was very good. She at the end made me sick.
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dtwine21 November 2019
While an interesting enough watch, this doco didn't really cover anything more than what was already covered in the ESPN podcast series BIKRAM.
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Great Cover from Both Perspectives
rizkarzk5 December 2019
I very rarely leave a written review here but after reading those bad reviews stating that this documentary is somewhat bias and giving a forced perspective, I have to disagree with them. I've watched bad documentaries that left a bad taste but this isn't one of them. The documentary clearly pictured the great advantages of yoga technique and show the charming side of Bikram early in the beginning, but the story just makes it own ways to go downhill until there's no place to defend the man. So it's no fault of the documentary that the man is pictured as evil megalomaniac.
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This one will probably make you very angry.
MartinHafer26 November 2019
"Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator" is an exceptionally well made and well constructed documentary. It's also one that, by the end, will probably also make you very angry for a variety of reasons.

The story is about Bikram Choudhury, a world famous yogi who built a huge financial business empire in the United States in the 1980s until nearly today. The first portion of the film essentially talks about Bikram's history and his style...and his followers talk about him glowingly. The second portion of the film then changes focus--to the sexual harassment and sexual abuse by Bikram. Additionally, his reaction to these allegations and lawsuits follows...and how he essentially got away with it will leave you angry and confused.

Overall, exceptionally well made and a film this is nearly perfect. My only complaints were a few of the interviews seemed ill-suited for the film, as they had no first hand knowledge of Bikram's horrible behaviors. Still, the documentary is compelling and well worth seeing.
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A Good Example of How Not to Make a Documentary
thekingsdom21 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I initially gave this documentary a six, and then I went away and thought more about it. The more I thought about this film, the more I realised it annoyed me. Therefore, I'm revising my score to 4.5 for reasons I'll discuss.

I don't do yoga, and I've never met the lead subject. I have no agenda with this comment with regards to yoga or the main character. My criticisms regard the documentary itself and are not to be taken as a defence of the lead character. I have an MA degree in documentary making from Royal Holloway, University of London, and I've been tutoring in community documentaries for over ten years. I am not a professional; however, I've read a lot, and I know a little bit about the process of documentaries.

The first thing I didn't like about this documentary was that it took a point of view and then spent the rest of the film trying to justify that point of view. In other words, this man is guilty; let's show it. The first week on my master's degree, two veteran documentary makers told the students we must never do this. You must never set out to prove your own hypothesis. From the Michael Rabiger Directing the Documentary book: 'Fairness: In a world of ambiguities the documentarian's responsibility is to be fair. If, for example, you are telling the story of a malpractice accusation against a surgeon, it would be prudent not only to cover the allegations from both sides but to cross-check everything that can be independently verified. Because matters are seldom as they are first seen, the accused is not always guilty, and the accuser is not always innocent'.

In this documentary, there was hardly any cross-examination. The documentary makers didn't try to interview him or get a statement from his lawyer. How many documentaries have you watched where they say: 'Company X refused to talk to us; however, they issued this statement'. In this documentary, person a, b, and c said this about the subject, but there was no cross-examination done on their evidence. There was the odd soundbite from a clip, but that was it. It was 90% he's guilty, here's a 10% soundbite saying he's not. That's not cross examining evidence.

Next, at the end of the documentary, we're quickly told that four of the six women who brought legal cases settled out of court. What's the first question you have to ask regarding this? Was it a shakedown? Were the allegations just about making money? That has to be looked into and questioned. Did they go to his lawyers and get their view on why these women settled out of court? No. I'm not accusing the women of lying, but in the interests of fairness, that's a pretty big issue that needs to be cross-examined.

Finally, we end with a quick soundbite that the DA and police won't prosecute criminal charges. Both declined to be interviewed for the documentary. Did the documentary makers go to a legal expert and ask whether the four out of court settlements played a part in the police not pursuing charges? No. He may well be prosecuted in the future; however, the fact the police are not pressing charges (at this moment) is an issue that can't just be glossed over.

I could go on, but I need to get on with my life. So, while this doc looks swish, has great editing and a lot of money thrown at it, the fact that it started off to prove it's own point of view, to me, is its downfall. That's sloppy. Do I think the lead character is a sleaze and could be guilty? Yes; however, by not being fair to countervailing points of view weakens the testimonies of the victims. And that's inexcusable as a documentary maker.
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A very good documentary from netflix
imdb-ikysmoviedatabase10 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
For the ones who already know about Bikram Choudhury this doesn't offer much new or different but alot of people will learn about him and this doc will keep the me to movement going and hopefully more sexual predators will get caught out the way choudary did
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Very nice insight into Bikram yoga
Newyorking3 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I have friends who swear by hot yoga, and there are still centers in the US calling themselves Bikram yoga, so obviously Bikram is still making money from yoga. How did he get started and why did he become so popular? I see gurus like this even today displayed all day on TV in India and it is a constant debate between me and my mother about the authenticity of these people. When people have no hope in life, the desire to belong and feel wanted and a part of something is so strong that it overrules the mind. Bikram made his hot yoga a "thing" and his personality made people feel drawn to him because he stood out and was talked about by everyone everywhere. When I saw him on TV, I saw him as a disgusting man who pushed boundaries and in the process made a lot of money which went to his head, he thought he could do anything and demand anything. How did he get people to follow him? I found the documentary very insightful since I didn't know about the cases against him. Having said that, the quality itself is a bit lacking and not to the level of say Fyre Festival probably because as much information is not available about his personal life, which is probably why he got away with it all. It is still a very good watch.
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Far too bias
amazoncanadakevin25 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
There was nothing here that couldn't have been said in 15 minutes. And I documentaries with such a huge bias in their point of view. This didn't even leave the door open to the idea that there is more to this story . It opens by basically stating "he's a sexual predator; and then spends 90 minutes pushing the point with little evidence. I have no doubt he is guilty but this documentary is more like a hit job than film making.
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26 moves 2 far.
fostrhod21 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
A close up on the phenomenon that is Hot Yoga aka Bikram.

Like all fashionable pursuits, Bikram yoga appears to have come from nowhere, springing up across the UK. This ride in popularity wasn't over night it started in the 70's. There is a great clip of founder Bikram Choudrey in the mid 70s on a American tv show along with the Bay City Rollers attempting to practice yoga. This is where the documentary excels in showing the history of Bikram and it's founder.

Alas the documentary does become a bit boring when it highlights its business model and how it's followers are brainwashed to follow and buy into the cult. Trained yoga teachers have invested so much into the training they allow the charismatic Choudrey to get away with whatever he wants. Once the said pupils realise this, a few do go public.

Choudrey's bullying, sexual assaults and raping of his impressionable female pupils is difficult to watch.

Lawsuits follow lawsuits all finding Choudrey guilty. Yet he is able to evade justice and still practice and teach his emotionally needy pupils. Theses pupils are still buying into this buying into this cult and investing into his franchises.
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Predator, Cult Leader and local CLOWN (that everyone believed)
garystribe27 November 2019
I have no words to describe my deep frustration that a monster, a predator like this represents the Yoga world and duped so many people into believing he was a Guru.

The worst part is the people that supported him and KNEW that women were being targetted and abused, all of you should be ashamed of yourself and know that the law of Karma come to us all. This is truly heartbreaking knowing someone is being abused and you're not taking any action against it and just sitting there in silence.

For the people that continue supporting a monster like this, you should also be ashamed of yourself knowing he is a predator, someone who thrives on victimising people to make up for his lack of intelligence and saying this, making up for the lack of your intelligence too. As stated in the documentary, he was a clown and everyone around him is Stupid.

Bikram fled America to host TTC training in Mexica and Spain and continues praying on women and anyone involved within this should be ashamed and turn their backs against him.

Please, do not allow ANY yoga teacher or guru to touch or harass you into having. IF you see any circumstances with yourself or anyone else around you, then as a Human being you have a duty to report this. Don't remain silent, be heard and let us fight these predators into extinction.
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its too aggressive and polarized
ops-5253520 November 2019
The objectiveness of this documentary are lacking in far too many ways. this is my objective assesment of this documentary. i do not yogg myself but i admire the ones who streches their limits as far as shown in this film , and do feel petty for the ones that has become victimized.

what i do feel petty for also is that this documentary also discredit the yoga movement, and the practice of'' bikram'' yoga as a scam and humbug. so this documentary has not been aiding this form of activity. there will always be predators out there, in yoga, in sports in education, in religion, where the ''pupil'' are so profound and flat on the nose to be what the teacher wants you to be. so beware to all , young as old, there will always be predators and it may happen again.

the grumpy old man shouldnt have deliberated so much about it, but subjectivity and unipolar presentation is not good documentary making. its a 6 and no more than that
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8 stars for light.
Growfeather24 November 2019
I had never heard of bikram before. Information presented in this documentary was enlightening and how power can be blinding to people. I hope people wise up and don't join anymore cult. He is still going around and teaching which is rather confusing.

Some of the acting felt forced specially when they were crying on camera or were they told to cry? It would've across more authentic if people spoke from their heart instead of a script.

I give it 8 stars for shining the light and allowing more people to see through it.
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Hail yoga, jail Yogi!
xpics23 November 2019
At the outset let me confess that I have never heard of Bikram Chaudhary before (despite the fact that I am from India). My bad! Or is it good to not know a tainted personality like him. However that helped me have an objective look at this documentary and make my own inferences without being influenced or having pre-conceieved notions.

Having said that, this is a pretty predictable documentary and there is no shock factor by the end. It traverses the journey of Bikram Chaudhary from India to making it big in the US with his hot yoga lessons over the years. However the story is not about his success as an entrepreneur but rather his failure as a human being with charges of sexual misconduct by several female protege at his yoga school. While initially you feel the documentary is one-sided and only endorses the victim's story, you start buying the fact that Bikram is to be blamed with his seemingly guilt-ridden denials at court proceedings and subsequently with the fact that he fled US leaving behind a huge empire that he had created and never chose to respond to the court orders or clear his name.

Portions that have an interesting twist in the documentary is when Bikram's claim to have cured President Nixon or having invented his 26 postures of yoga or his claim to have won yoga championship three times in a row in India - all are proven wrong. This is a classic case of success going in a person's head driving him crazy to the extent that he feels he can do whatever he wants.

Though the storytelling is very simple without any complicated layers, the documentary is dramatized well and holds your attention to some extent, if you ignore intermittent moments where it dips with repeated information.

Thankfully the documentary gives yoga the respect it deserves though it certainly doesn't do the same with the yoga guru!
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A poor quality documentary but still one that everybody should take the time to watch
MGPT806 December 2019
While this wasn't the most accomplished documentary, it is great to see the repulsive fraud Bikram Chaudhury exposed to an even wider audience. It disgusts me that this man has got away with his behaviour as long as he has, and its painful to watch these gullible morons continue to throw money at him even after the incredibly worrying allegations. The final shots in this film make you lose faith in humanity, or at least, middle-class westerners.

As others have pointed out, the documentary pretty much declares him guilty from the offset and doesn't take any other angle into account. This is a very one-sided take on the issue and morally it's probably not the right way to go about it, however damning the evidence appears to be.

But even aside from the sexual abuse allegations, this man is a true charlatan. His franchised yoga is a joke and his swollen ego has been massaged for way too long. Watching even a few minutes footage of him around other human beings is enough to see that he is clearly a delusional narcissist and sociopath. Hopefully the result of this whole fallout will be that people begin to see through phoney gurus with God-complexes and exercise a little more rationality when it comes to handing over their money and social identities.

Overall rating: 54/100
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Oblivious hot girls, new age religion and the avoidance of all responsibility
tetrahex22 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The only value the doc has is a view into the actual results of a secular world, people search for spirituality in anything they can, they seek religious leaders in the strangest of places and the desire to serve and to please leads to the usual power dynamics of exploitation. Add to this the license from the 60s revolution in all things libertine and combine this with strategic female obliviousness and you have willing fools pretending that older men take special interest in young women because they are some how "special". These are young women raised to deny biology, dressed in almost nothing in your prime, sweating, basically dancing, performing, what did you think was going on. You see this everywhere now, women craving attention, instagram exhibitionism galore, but always behind the lie of innocence, that they don't really know what they are doing, what message they are sending, that they bear no responsibility, and that society has no responsibility for enabling it. They are forever surprised at the consequences and then they cry, and that's all you see in this doc. These are women who lie to themselves, so how are they credible. The avoidance of responsibility by all parties, testimony without insight of explanation because it would be inconvenient to the ideologies of all the parties involved.
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The dark side
sriramthestranger28 November 2019
Wonderful documentary about Bikram showing his diabolic character and the dark side of him. I still wonder how people treat him like a 'father' figure and supremo. Its kind of brainwashing taken to a whole new level. Credits to the narration and interviews from various people from US and India. Hope, the person will be behind bars one day.
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it's a surprise when an icon turns out to be a fraud
lee_eisenberg26 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I had been doing Bikram yoga for a few years when assault allegations against Bikram Choudhury surfaced. "Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator" looks at this, as well as allegations that his entire business franchise is a fraud. Shocking stuff. I recommend it.
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Not well done
ankiii_dahl27 November 2019
I wanted this doc to be an important documentery well done. Disappointed. Sometimes confused due to gaps in the story that werent there or I somehow missed, even though just watching it. I wanted it to be as well done as " AT THE HEART OF GOLD, INSIDE THE USA GYMNASTIC SCANDAL"
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