Lemming Film

Maroesja recht in camera (copyright Doke Hermsen)

Child of the Commune

Child of the Commune is an egodocument of director Maroesja Perizonius about her experiences as a child in the movement of the Indian guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. As a six-year-old girl, Maroesja followed her mother's example and became a follower of Bhagwan. From that moment on, she had the Indian name, Ma Prem Chandra (Moon of Love), she wore a string of beads and dressed in red. Seven years later, her mother decided to sell her house and her belongings and move with Maroesja to the Amsterdam Bhagwan commune, where 240 followers lived. Some time later, Maroesja was separated from her mother. She went to a children's commune in England.

The way of life of the followers of Bhagwan was not particularly suitable for children. In order to keep the commune going, everyone - including the children - was expected to work hard. The grown ups were very focused on themselves, busy with self-development and meditation. And there was a liberal sexual morale. Children such as Maroesja were confronted with these grown ups issues and had to cope with them.

During her search, Maroesja returns to the former communes in Amsterdam and England and travels to India, where she at the age of six received her new name from Bagwan. 


director Maroesja Perizoniusrelease 2004length 50 minproducers Leontine Petit, Joost de Vriesbroadcaster NCRVdirector of photography Paul Cohensound Bert van den Dungen, Martijn van Haaleneditor Erik Disselhoffcomposer Fons Merkiesfinanciers & funds Stimuleringsfonds Nederlandse Culturele Omroepproducties, i.s.m. YLE Teema, Finlanddistributor Deckert Distribution