This adaptation of Arnold's 1861 Orientalist epic opens with documentary shots of tourists in Bombay watching street performers. Then a white-bearded old man sitting under the bodhi tree ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Himansu Rai ...
Gautama
Sarada Ukil ...
King Suddhodhana
Rani Bala ...
Queen Maya
Prafulla Roy ...
Devadatta
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Modhu Bose
Mrinalini Devi
Sunalini Devi
Sushil Ghosh
Sundar Rajam
Ekambi 'Wilhelm' Tongo
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Storyline

This adaptation of Arnold's 1861 Orientalist epic opens with documentary shots of tourists in Bombay watching street performers. Then a white-bearded old man sitting under the bodhi tree tells the tourists the story of Gautama (Rai), son of King Suddodhana (Ukil) and Queen Maya (Bala), who left his consort Gopa (Seeta) and became a wandering teacher credited with founding Buddhism. The religious epic, with its idealized figures, takes up the narrative in flashback and ends with Gopa kneeling before Gautama asking to become his disciple. Written by Sujit R. Varma

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Drama

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Release Date:

11 May 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Light of Asia  »

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1.33 : 1
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Featured in The Story of India: The Power of Ideas (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Indian Tradition

People, even aristocrats (yes, we are almost people though more elegant and distinguished), always have had a special interest in discovering different cultures. They delight in being astonished by singular customs, strange habits and alluring scenery. "Prem Sanyas" delivers all this and will enlighten the most curious of the long haired people as it is an exotic film with curious origins ( a German-Indian film production ) . It narrates the story of Buddha ( a kind of Luther for the people of that part of the world ) and his childhood and youth at the palace of his father where the young man is kept secluded in a kind of golden prison, carefully shielded against such sorrows of the world as poverty, illness and all those other terrible things that this German Count knows thanks to some interesting articles read in "The Aristocratic Und Teutonic Encyclopaedia About The World Outside The Schlöss".

The film, in addition to depicting Buddha's life, also functions as a kind of documentary about those exotic habits and customs of Indian tradition. It is a very beautiful film with plenty of dazzling, splendorous images filmed in incredible settings and with superb cinematography, bewitching the audience from the very start of the film. It may be a German film co-production, but the actors are all Indian. There is respect and admiration for this culture so different from the West. The director avoids typical Western manipulation and its tendency to be merely picturesque and that's the most important achievement of this film.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must return back to Deutsch land from India but this time this aristocrat won't travel by elegant carriage but by elephant.

Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/


4 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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