Joe Berlinger and Tony Robbins: ‘You’re never going to convince a cynic’


The film-maker had actually had enough of making and viewing documentaries about social ills, so chose to make a feel-good film about among Americas most popular inspirational speakers

Joe Berlinger and Tony Robbins are a curious pairing, and not simply due to the fact that at 6ft 7in, Robbins appears like a superhero standing beside his pal and partner.

Berlinger is an activist and acclaimed documentary film-maker. His Paradise Lost trilogy, shot over twenty years, resulted in the release of the West Memphis Three after more than 20 years of wrongful jail time for the apparently satanically influenced murder of 3 children. In his 2009 documentary Crude, Berlinger handled the Chevron Corporation while examining the story behind the worlds biggest oil-related ecological suit, which landed him in warm water .

Robbins is Americas most effective and popular inspirational speaker, best understood for providing and empowering ceos assistance to a lineup of well-known customers that consist of Hugh Jackman, Julianne Hough and vocalist Melissa Etheridge. Most just recently, he triggered debate after 30 guests of his Unleash the Power Within occasion in Dallas, Texas, were dealt with for burns after strolling throughout cinders a routine function of his popular workshops. The act is implied to represent conquering worry.

The sets partnership, Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru , does not have the intense tone of Berlingers most well known work. Its not even a biopic of Robbins, tracking his increase to Oprah Winfrey-level popularity. Rather, Berlinger has actually made exactly what he states is nearly like a show movie of human feeling. In it, the film-maker lets us inside a hotel ballroom in Palm Springs, California, to track 6 days and nights inside Robbins mega yearly workshop, Date With Destiny. The two-hour movie grants audiences never-before-seen access to Robbins workshop, which draws more than 2,500 individuals a year.

My objective in making it is not to have individuals go out and register for Tony Robbins workshops, verifies Berlinger. My objective is for individuals to invest 2 hours to do something all of us do not do enough: consider the instructions and quality of your very own life.

In essence, Berlinger excitable and chatty face to face has actually made his very first feel-good movie. Its a charge hes more than pleased to own up to. After making exactly what he refers to as tough, difficult movies about hard topics, Berlinger states he prepared to utilize the documentary kind in a various method.

He concerned this awareness while serving on a jury for a documentary celebration in Europe, where he remembers investing a week seeing movies about school rape, business contamination and political scandals.

Says Berlinger: I keep in mind believing to myself: this is exactly what documentary has actually typically ended up being. Individuals think about documentaries called investigative take-down pieces of the most recent social ill. Ive made a number of those movies.

Berlinger came to the topic of his brand-new movie after being astonished by Robbins teachings throughout a Date With Destiny retreat that he was at first unwilling to participate in. The set had actually been presented in 2012 through a shared pal. Robbins admitted himself a big fan of Berlingers Metallica documentary, Metallica: This Monster Lives and a connection was struck.

It made good sense, states Berlinger. The documentary has to do with treatment, relationships, and the transpositions of fortune things that resonate with exactly what Tonys about.

Berlinger admits to understanding Robbins just ostensibly as a TELEVISION existence prior to their very first encounter and that person who had a cameo in Shallow Hal .

That didnt stop Robbins from welcoming Berlinger to participate in the week-long workshop totally free (typically, it costs individuals $5,000), most likely noticing exactly what Berlinger refers to as a youth problems that were welling up at the time.

I was turning 50, states Berlinger. My individual life is terrific. But expertly, I was striking 50 and recognizing Im never ever pleased, Im never ever pleased. Im constantly simply onto the next. Thats usually exactly what it had to do with: an absence of thankfulness for my life.

Berlinger states he ran away for the exit doors throughout the very first group break, hesitant to open with unfamiliar people hed been coupled with. In hindsight, he now states, the experience was touching a raw nerve, that just additional highlighted why he made the trip from New York to California. Berlinger was lastly hooked by the directed memory workout where individuals are challenged to keep in mind a bottom line from a vital early youth memory that they believe they may have forgotten.

I went through this experience in a space of 2,500 individuals, opened my eyes and was flooded with tears, states Berlinger. Its not like the angels came out and I was recovered it simply was a sensation of lightness. I seemed like, wow, if something can make me feel by doing this, even for 5 minutes, theres something here that Id prefer to continue to check out. I stuck it out for the 6 days and discovered it to be an exceptionally transformational experience.

itemprop =”description”> I Am Not Your Guru: an immersive drop into the world of a Robbins workshop. Picture: Netflix

I do not have the deception that my method is the proper way, he includes. Its simply an excellent way for somebody who is driven and starving and wishes to go full blast. Its right for some individuals and not for others.

The movie, which was ultimately gotten by Netflix and is now offered to stream , was criticised following its opening night at the SXSW movie celebration in March by customers who implicated Berlinger of basically making an advertising movie. Plainly a licensed task, it never ever leaves [Robbins] point of view, composed Indiewires Eric Kohn in among a number of unfavorable evaluations.

Berlinger safeguards his technique, stressing that being a show movie, Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru is at its core an immersive drop into the world of a Robbins workshop.

In a performance movie, the film-maker isn’t really going to state that the drummer is having an affair with the diva, states Berlinger. Or hi, that guitar line is better in the studio album than in this live variation. No in a performance movie, youre experiencing the performance. You can believe exactly what you desire.

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