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Malayalam-speaking Mata Amritanandamayi was born near Kochi, Kerala, India and is one of the most well-known saintly persons of this millennium. She makes it a point to greet and hug everyone who comes for her Darshan, sometimes hugging as many as 45000 people in a 21 hour period. She also heads a Ashram that feeds the hungry and looks after the homeless, apart from being involved in several housing projects in India, and has displayed a special empathy for both humans and animals alike. She has also traveled to France and North America, and has preached about peace and goodwill especially in these troubled times. She has also traveled extensively in India, especially to Kolkata and Varanasi, where she was greeted with millions of devotees. She cautions everyone that during Ramrajya, Lord Ram had to travel across the seas to fight evil; then during the time of Lord Kishan evil was fought not only on the homeland but also with friends and relatives; and now in the current age evil ... Written by
Gorgeous Visual Poem Of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
As a disciple of Ammachi, I will begin by mentioning that this film does not contain a lot of information about Amma that would be helpful to someone who had no idea who she was prior to seeing this film. It could have done with a little more information about her countless charitable works (including schools, hospitals, homes for the poor and the list goes on and on) and perhaps a bit more biographical information and mention of the countless miracles and healings that have been attributed to her. Also, a little more explanation of what "darshan" actually is would have been helpful to those for whom this movie would be their first introduction to Amma.
Aside from this, I have found that Jan Kounen did an incredible job with capturing the essence of who Amma really is. The interesting camera angles and close-ups of Amma's facial expressions, truly captured the divine presence that one can feel while in her physical presence. I also really enjoyed that there was quite a bit of filming of Amma done in slow- motion. It was particularly incredible to witness her darshans at a slowed down speed...the nuances and intricacies of each 5 second hug, speak volumes when rendered in slow- motion.
There is quite a bit of poetic metaphor throughout the film as well, as can be seen in Kounen's choice of contrasting images of life, death, chaos, peace, human and God. Truly, the visuals are some of the most beautiful I have seen since Baraka.
All in all this film is a heart melting work of art for devotees of Amma, and a sweeping visual portrait-poem of one of the most amazing spiritual figures on the planet at this time. I don't think any film could truly convey who Amma is. It is something that must be experienced to be understood.
That said, stop in and get darshan for yourself the next time Amma is in your city. Then, watch the film again :)
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