This award winning documentary investigates the controversial phenomenon of "Breatharianism"
living on light about
P.A. Straubinger
Biography and interview with Peter-Arthur Straubinger, director of "In The Beginning There Was Light".

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Austrian Director P.A. Straubinger is a graduate with honours from the renowned University of Music and Performing Arts (Film and Television) in Vienna. He has more than two decades of experience as a journalist for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. In the 1990s his interest in Transpersonal Psychology led to intensive practice in yoga and meditation. A personal encounter in the spring of 2000 awakened his interest in the strange topic of Breatharianism. He met a meditation teacher who allegedly had not eaten for more than a year. Still skeptical, he started a 10 year journey of research from around the globe on this topic. Searching for traces of evidence and skeptical scrutiny of this human mystery. 200 hours of footage were edited into the 90 minute feature documentary “IN THE BEGINNING, THERE WAS LIGHT“. It premiered at the International Film Festival in Cannes and became one of the most influential and successful feature documentaries in Austrian cinema history. When it was shown in prime time on National Television viewership outnumbered Hollywood Blockbusters like “Harry Potter“. This then led to a huge public discussion.

Excerpt from an interview with P.A. Straubinger by Wendy Sue Noah

“Thank you for joining us today. Please share with us what inspired you to make this extensive documentary film about Breatharianism?”

Filming in India.

With Yogi Prahlad Jani.

“Actually, “In the Beginning, There Was Light” is about Breatharianism only on the surface, as a kind of dramatic arc for telling about a deeper truth behind our visible reality – the “light of life”. So, what it is truly about is the investigation and questioning of this materialistic worldview, which rules our society – that it’s only real if you can prove it, touch it, measure it. I could have made this film with the same message about telepathy, faith healing, remote viewing or the wonder of life itself… The reason why breatharianism became my chosen golden thread and message was due to a visit with a meditation teacher who I was told lived only on water and “light”. I got to know him quite well. He told me that he had not eaten for over a year and that he only drank water. I’d heard stories about this phenomenon before but did not really believe it. Meeting this person face to face had a much stronger impact then I could have realized! He sounded very credible. I had to ask myself if this phenomenon really exists and why isn’t it taken seriously by scientific institutions? Why aren’t dozens of universities doing research on this?”

“Now that is an excellent question! How much is going on that is NOT being studied due to scientists and others stating, “That’s impossible !””

“Yes, exactly! So this tension was the reason why I’ve been doing my own private research for many years. Through this process, I have discovered a lot of good arguments, by classical medicine, as to why this should not work. How do people starve every day and others died trying to live as breatharians? However, there are many documented accounts about this phenomenon in all cultures, throughout history. And of course, my Austrian friend who was living and breathing proof (pun intended ;). I decided to seek first-hand information about this fascinating phenomenon and started my five-year journey traveling around the world. My research led me to China, India, Russia, United States, and many other countries. Along the way I discovered some incredible knowledge from ancient Eastern wisdom, to the findings of modern physics…”


Since documentary films like these are produced with deep passion to share deep messages, my follow-up question is, “How does the theme of your film affect your real life?”

“I have come to the understanding that mainstream science and the teachings I’ve learned in school about nature are only a part of truth. They derive only from a (mechanistic-materialistic) belief systems. It is necessary to question them because what made sense a few hundred years ago is now destroying our world and is a burden to creating an open, loving, and cooperative society….”

Get more insights:

Podcast Interview with P.A. Straubinger by Erin Fall Haskell

P.A. Straubinger filming in the Wundang Mountains in China.