In the Beginning There Was Light

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In The Beginning There Was Light
Promotional Poster "In The Beginning There Was Light".jpg
Official US-Release Poster "In The Beginning There Was Light"
Directed by P.A. Straubinger
Produced by Helmut Grasser
Written by P.A. Straubinger
Starring Prahlad Jani, Rupert Sheldrake, Amit Goswami, Brian Josephson, Jasmuheen, Zinaida Baranova, Michael Werner, Robert Jahn, Dean Radin [1]
Release date
  • May 13, 2010 (2010-05-13) (Marché du Film)
  • September 17, 2010 (2010-09-17) (Austria)
  • October 28, 2010 (2010-10-28) (Germany)
  • April 11, 2013 (2013-04-11) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes
Country Austria
Language English, German, Gujarati, Mandarin, Russian

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. Straubinger researched inedia for ten years. This led to the film's production, which took five years. The film premiered on May 13, 2010 at the Marché du Film.[3]


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.[4] 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 classical and alternative medicine and science and looks for explanatory models for inedia. Straubinger conveys that for him, the materialistic world view of modern science falls short.[5][6]

Cultural impact[edit]

According to Straubinger, In The Beginning There Was Light polarized critics, and the controversy contributed to the film's financial success.[7]

In the German Das Erste talk show Menschen bei Maischberger[citation needed] and two TV-discussions on ORF in Austria, critics warned that the film could motivate people to stop eating.[citation needed] Straubinger responded that this would be a complete misunderstanding of his film, repeatedly stating that he does not want to motivate anybody to stop eating but he would advocate eating consciously without asserting any particular nutritional ideology.[citation needed] Straubinger says that the film shows cases of starvation related to the Breatharian Process communicated by the Australian author Jasmuheen, and also features proponents and experts who warn not to make dangerous self-experiments or try a breatharian lifestyle out of "spiritual ambition".[8]

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.[9][10] The film's official website calls articles that implicate a responsibility of In The Beginning There Was Light for the woman's death a hoax, and presents as support for this claim a facsimile of an e-mail that the responsible state attorney wrote to the director in which he confirms 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.[11]

Awards and Festivals[edit]


External links[edit]