This award winning documentary investigates the controversial phenomenon of "Breatharianism"
living on light CONTROVERSY
Director P.A. Straubinger addresses the controversial arguments and reactions to his film.

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Director P.A. Straubinger adresses the controversial arguments and reactions to his film.
In my long career as a film journalist for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, I hardly came across a film that polarized as much as "In The Beginning There Was Light" (or just "Light" for short). People either love it or hate it and also professional opinions are extremely divergent - from the highest possible rating of the Official Austrian Movie Rating Commission "Prädikat: Besonders Wertvoll" (rated as outstanding valuable for the audience) to the anti-prize of the Austrian Sceptics Organisation "Goldenes Brett" for the biggest nonsense of the year!

Besides enthusiastic movie reviews, there was also furious scrutiny and "Light" even made a headline in Germany´s biggest newspaper, yellow press giant "BILD", indicating it was dangerous and manipulative. But the controversy made the film, especially in the German speaking countries, even more successful.

prahlad jani

"How dangerous is this film?" asks yellow press giant BILD . Germany´s biggest newspaper makes a headline with "Light".

The bigger the controversy the more people want to see the film. "Light" had attracted with over 100.000 spectators in Austrian cinemas alone more audience than most Hollywood movies.


The 100,000 tickets "Light" sold in Austrian cinemas alone are more than most Hollywood-movies make and when it was shown prime time in national television (ORF 1), it had a lot more viewers than international Blockbusters like "Harry Potter 6", "Due Date" or "Ocean´s 12" which aired at the same TV slot the days before.

If my film did not have this mainstream impact it would have been probably completely ignored by the sceptics‘ organizations. But the tremendous success, which outnumbered all expectations of the production company and the funding Austrian Film Institute, led to furious attacks, violent rejection and a lot of deep discussion!

I have to admit that it was this public discussion that I wanted to evoke - because it is a necessary discussion. This movie is not about eating or not eating. The crucial question here is if aspects of the mind and of the soul have a causal effect on our reality.

TV-discussion after the primetime-premiere of "Light" in Austrian´s national television ORF which attracted more viewers than international blockbusters like "Harry Potter 6" "Due Date" or "Ocean´s Twelve"".

Director P.A. Straubinger giving his acceptance speech in front of a crowd of skeptics when winning their anti-price "Goldenes Brett". He ends with a famous quote of Nobel Prize Laureate Max Planck questioning the classical conception of matter.

The prevailing consensus of mainstream science, that rules our western society is, that the mind, the soul, the spirit are an epiphenomen of our biological brain activity - nothing more. We are complex `machines` that produce as a side effect, thoughts and emotions. I think this mechanistic view of the world is not only outdated and harmful to our nature - but it is also not holding up to reality and serious scientfic examination. I elaborate on that more in the Background-Section.

To make a long story short: The mechanistic-materialistic view in our world is an outdated philosophy of nature - but it gives the false security that we understand our world. Questioning this security is, in my opinion, the reason for the violent rejection of my film which has not been funded in plausible arguments but in ideological beliefs.

Of course this is my personal view.

You have to decide yourself what to believe. And first you should hear both sides of the discussion and as many arguments as possible.

Some critics from the skeptics side claimed my film would be `complete nonsense` a `masterpiece of manipulation` or a `pseudo-documentary`. Media always shows a more or less subjective view and when you have to edit 200 hours of raw footage to 90 minutes of film, like I did, there is a lot of information you have to leave out! I tried my best to deliver a truthful concentrate of my many years of research. But, of course, truthfullness is not the same as the truth. So let´s have an open look at the different arguments and questions from the skeptics side  .

Max Planck, Nobel Prize Laureate and pioneer of modern physics also questioned the materialistic worldview:

"There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." by Max Planck


Many "Sceptics" claim that "Light" would be responsible for the death of a Swiss "Breatharian". Is that true ?


What about this "60 Minutes" TV experiment with Jasmuheen ? Does it prove somehow that Jasmuheen is a fraud or deluded and the concept of Breatharianism nothing but nonsense ?


Many "Breatharians" admit to have some calory intake. Others like Hira Ratan Manek and Wiley Brooks were caught eating. Let´s have a look at the confusing field of "Breatharians" and their meals.


Prahlad Jani, the Indian Yogi who claims to have lived for more than 70 years without eating and drinking, was tested twice in strictly controlled experiments. The findings were so incredible that some skeptics still cannot believe in a true case. They claim that Jani would be a fraud and the experiments fake. Why ?