Carlos Castaneda: Enigma of a Sorcerer

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Movie Info

Directed by Ralph Torjan, this documentary profiles the life of self-proclaimed shaman Carlos Castaneda. Castaneda's LSD-induced visions and other explorations of "non-ordinary reality" helped him develop a devoted following during the late '60s and early '70s -- so much so that he would find himself on the cover of Time magazine in 1973. Though many people dismissed Castaneda as a fraud, an equal amount followed his teachings religiously; however, several prominent believers mysteriously left the Castaneda enlightenment scene after his death in 1998. This production offers a variety of interviews with believers and decriers alike, and implements a wealth of psychedelic computer animation in an effort to impart Castaneda's hallucinogenic nature.


Critic Reviews for Carlos Castaneda: Enigma of a Sorcerer

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (7)

  • Though interviews here are primarily with former camp followers and pic was made by one, overall perspective is just critical enough to satisfy both New Age types and curious skeptics.

    Aug 3, 2009

    Dennis Harvey

    Top Critic
  • Unless you are already a fan of Castaneda, the film is likely to leave you feeling as though you've just watched a very long, lost episode of that old TV series In Search of ...

    Oct 28, 2004 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Even ignoring the low-grade aesthetics, the documentary feels like you've stepped into a geek-nerd convention where all but hardcore initiates will be either bored or amused by the proceedings.

    Oct 28, 2004
  • Not only doesn't provide any real information, it barely manages to convey why we should care.

    Jul 7, 2004
  • Was Carlos Castaneda a great spiritual leader or a cynical con man? A digital video documentary struggles with that question but ultimately declines to answer it.

    Jun 2, 2004 | Rating: 2/5
  • If only there were drugs strong enough to make it all bearable.

    Jun 1, 2004 | Full Review…

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