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Jag Mandir: Das exzentrische Privattheater des Maharadscha von Udaipur (1991)

In this surreal documentary legendary Werner Herzog shows us how on the suggestion of a saint, the king of Udaipur invites various artists, tribes from numerous cultures across india to celebrate life and ward off evil.

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In this surreal documentary legendary Werner Herzog shows us how on the suggestion of a saint, the king of Udaipur invites various artists, tribes from numerous cultures across india to celebrate life and ward off evil.

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10 November 1991 (Germany)  »

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Okay film record of a theater festival aimed at teaching a maharajah's son and warding off evil
10 May 2008 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

Jag Mandir:The eccentric private theater of the Maharajah of Udaipur.

The maharajah asked the wisest men in his kingdom what he should teach his young son. He was told to hold a festival where he could show his son all of the arts that will soon be lost to the world. He was also told to have a procession around the city so that it would ward away evil. The film is Werner Herzog's record of the procession and the festival. I like the first half of the film where we see some of the set up of the festival and we meet, fleeting, the Maharajah. However once the show, or the festival starts its simply one act after another after another. Its not bad, actually its quite interesting seeing all of the various performers, however it is over whelming. Its a large number of performers in a short amount of time and with out any context or break (even in the brief 85 minute running time) it was too much. To be honest I think part of the problem is that the film opens with an explanation of the festival by a friend of Herzog's who put the festival together. In the seven or eight minutes that he talks he creates such a sense of wonder and magic of what they were trying to do and what they did that actually seeing the festival can't live up to his words.(Though as he said there was over twenty hours of film shot for the movie and there was no way we could see it all). Worth a look on TV or DVD where you can pause the film if it becomes over whelming.

6.5 out of 10


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