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Naked in Ashes (2005)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 21 October 2005 (USA)
<p>Among India's one billion people exists a passionate and (to Western minds) eccentric community of 13 million Yogis. They live in a world never seen on film. </p><p>Paula Fouce?s NAKED ... See full summary »

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Sita Sharan Das - Lead Narrator (voice)
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Among India's one billion people exists a passionate and (to Western minds) eccentric community of 13 million Yogis. They live in a world never seen on film.

Paula Fouce?s NAKED IN ASHES is a groundbreaking documentary; which offers an unprecedented look at the Eastern Yogi. These mystics leave everything material to embark on a spiritual quest. With honest simplicity;NAKED IN ASHES provides a magical glimpse into the world of these sages who find deep meaning in a life of chastity; austerity; and utter devotion.From covering themselves for warmth in the ashes of the dead; to pulling automobiles by their genitalia; the film's candid portraits of ascetics whose only quest is to experience the Divine captivates both the eye and mind.

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youth springs eternal
12 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A huge festival like Kuma is complicated enough to make sense, so India is something to be experienced. Paula Fouce's documentary puts more attention on the practices of Sadus, yogis, babas, nagas and those hermits that continue the ancient and traditional austerities for clarity.

Think about it. In western minds—to prove one's spirituality—is overly complicated, while these holy men live simply, and use their time on earth to harmonize with her rhythms. To western thinkers, these acts of austerity are amazing or odd.

Some wonderful things I remember: A yogi explains "God sends us back to earth because someone might benefit from our knowledge or experience. Youth itself is a form of God." As a Sadu in the Ganges explains "The flow of life is eternal. Man uses a vessel to carry the Ganges for his flow, as man is a vessel for God."

And about other reviewers who comment how everyone "is nude and often covered in ashes". Isn't this obvious from the title? If people are too prudish to purview penises, then they will miss the point entirely and should go pray in their pews for redemption.

Excellent edits and beautiful choices of music with moods in the stories; this film is very sincere about the spiritual quest for less materialism.


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