Documentaries Reviews

Documentary Review: I am not Your Guru (Tony Robbins)

‘I am not your Guru’ is a two-hour feature documentary on renowned motivational speaker Tony Robbins which follows his annual six days ‘Date With Destiny’ seminar.  I stumbled on it accidentally on Netflix and decided to give it a watch. I was in need of some motivation and I was familiar with Tony Robbins through Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday sessions.

The documentary opens with a serious case of a man who is suicidal and the viewer experiences a powerful intervention moment as Tony helps him. There are times where the approach in the intervention seems quite harsh but Tony Robbins has argued in interviews that he uses direct language because of the nature of the people he helps and the extremity of their situation. Nonetheless, there are moments during the intervention that I felt quite uncomfortable with the approach being used, but eh if the people don’t complain, who am I to talk? Also, there must be a reason why he is regarded as the best motivational speaker in the world.

That aside, the documentary is filled with beautiful and tearjerking moments especially in the case of the woman who was a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. His approach here is very tender and I have to admit, I had a few tears in my eyes during this scene. Where the documentary lacks in investigation and skepticism, it makes up for in bounty with the passion and dedication of Tony Robbins which leaps off the screen. Without a doubt, this is a man who is committed to changing the lives of people and has found his purpose/ gift. In addition, the insight given into the production of the seminar is quite fascinating. From the theatrical on stage production to the selection process of individuals, the documentary was worth the watch.

However, I was left with several questions at the end of the documentary. Firstly, I’m fascinated in whether the transformation that people experience at motivational seminars are fleeting or long-lasting? What is the experience like for people who don’t get a one to one intervention with Tony Robbins? Do they feel like it’s value for money? The ticket prices for the seminar ranges from $3995 to $7995. Yes, you read that right! Is a six-day seminar enough to fix serious issues especially for people with severe mental health conditions or people who have gone through quite traumatic events in their lives? The seminar does seem to have a follow-up system in place but I doubt that happens for the two thousand and five hundred people that attend.

It would have been interesting if the director explored and questioned things to give the audience a deeper insight rather than solely depicting the seminar itself and the creation process. All in all, the documentary is worth a watch and gets a three-star rating from me.

✯✯✯ – Hit and Miss

What do you think about motivational speakers? Have you ever been to a motivational seminar and what was your experience of it? And lastly, any favourite speaker(s) that you would recommend?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Out of pain comes unbelievable strength – Tony Robbins



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