In the Beginning There Was Light

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In The Beginning There Was Light is a documentary film by Austrian director P. A. Straubinger on the subject of inedia. Straubinger visits several people who supposedly nourish themselves with "light" and tries to find possible explanations on how inedia might work. P. A. Straubinger worked on inedia for ten years. This led to the film’s production, which took five years. The film premiered on September 17, 2010, in Austria and Switzerland. "In The Beginning There Was Light" was shown all over the world and became one of the most successful feature documentaries of Austrian cinema history. [1]


P.A. Straubinger first encounters inedia in a television documentary about Nicholas of Flüe, a 15th-century ascetic who was reported to have lived 19 years without eating.[2] Later, Straubinger starts research on the internet and subsequently has the desire to meet people practising inedia. He travels through different countries and interviews people who claim to nourish themselves with light, vitality, Prana or Qi, among them Jasmuheen, Michael Werner and "Mataji" Prahlad Jani. Straubinger also consults different people from esotericism, medicine and science and looks for explanatory models for inedia. Straubinger conveys that for him, the materialistic world view of modern science falls short.[3][4]

Cultural impact[edit]

In Switzerland, according to the national newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, a woman who saw the film attempted to live on sunlight alone, and died in January 2012.[5] In reference to the Tages-Anzeiger article the responsible state attorney, who investigated the death of the woman, stated that no third party could be made responsible for the death of the woman and an adequate causality between the film and the death could be definitely excluded. [6]


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