7.5/10
169
3 user 3 critic

Forest of Bliss (1986)

Unrated | | Documentary | January 1986 (USA)
A look at daily life in the city of Benares, India, one of the most religious places in the country.

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A look at daily life in the city of Benares, India, one of the most religious places in the country.

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independent film | See All (1) »

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January 1986 (USA)  »

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Bosque de dicha  »

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User Reviews

 
the meaning is your responsibility
18 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

Robert Gardner's hypnotic look at the city of Benares, India, works in two ways, first and foremost as a memorable tour through an exotic world totally alien from our own. But beyond all the kaleidoscopic images and sounds is a unique understanding of the contradictions shaping Indian culture. Eavesdropping on activity around the Great Cremation Ground over the course of a single day, Gardner's camera reveals the beauty co-existing with the squalor: the reverence for life alongside the harsh reality of death. Corpses are consigned with great ceremony to the holy waters of the Ganges River, only to be fed upon by vultures. Sacred cows wander inviolate through the streets past lean and hungry scavenger dogs. This is a documentary in the purest sense, using no subtitles or narration, and with music and dialogue provided only as part of the natural background of sound.


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