DEEP END is look at self help guru Teal Swan. Teal is a spiritual guide who helps people to over come trauma in their lives and lead happier well adjusted lives. She has millions of followers. At the same time some people feel she doesn’t know what she is talking about, that she should not be handling mental health issues. For her detractors she is a cult leader of sorts.
I’ve read that Teal Swan is not happy with the finished product. I’m guessing that she thought that after allowing Jon Kasbe three years of seeming unrestricted access she was going to get a hagiographic portrait. On the other hand if she thought Kasbe was going to give her a straight forward portrait then she never saw one of Kasbe’s films. I say this because Kasbe is a director who never does what is expected. I mean his film on elephant ivory poaching WHEN LAMBS BECOME LIONS paints a picture that has you seeing the point of the poachers.
While Swan may not be happy with the series I’m delighted. Kasbe appears to have taken full advantage of his access and has made a film that gives us a seemingly fair look at Swan. Because Kasbe was there for three years he didn’t just see her for a moment or just in a series of good times, rather he got to see the ups and downs. Kasbe doesn’t give us a Teal Swan that’s all up, we are there for the downs. We see fights and disagreements. We see moments where she is clearly selling her brand and others where she is trying to help people. There is a complexity and multifaceted approach that you only get from being allowed to see everything. If Swan doesn’t like the film it’s only because Swan reflects “all” of Swan at the audience. I doubt any of us would like to have a warts and all portrait of ourselves out there.
To be perfectly honest having gotten to the end of the series I don’t know what to think of Swan. There are things I like and things I don’t. We see the divide between the public and the private and it can be a bit jarring as I liked some facets and not others. What Kasbe showed me forced me to think about how I look not only at self help gurus and internet celebrities but also how I view life. Say what you will about Swan’s teachings, there is some helpful things there.
I really liked DEEP END a great deal. I need to wade in again when I’m not racing to finish the film for a review. This is a film/series that is one of the great ones, you know those that you want to revisit multiple times because you know there are things hidden in it you missed.
DEEP END is on Hulu and Freeform is very recommended