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Short Cut to Nirvana: Kumbh Mela (2004)

Unrated | | Documentary | 11 May 2004 (USA)
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Every 12 years over 70 million pilgrims gather at the meeting of India's holiest rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna, for a spectacular spiritual festival: the Kumbh Mela. This documentary ... See full summary »
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Jasper Johal Jasper Johal ... Himself
Justin Davis Justin Davis ... Himself
Swami Krishnanad Swami Krishnanad ... Himself
Pilot Baba Pilot Baba ... Himself
Yog Mata Yog Mata ... Herself
Dyan Summers Dyan Summers ... Herself
Vanessa Ramos Vanessa Ramos ... Herself
Ramarand Puri Ramarand Puri ... Himself
Silu Acharya Silu Acharya ... Herself
Kali Baaba Kali Baaba ... Himself
The Dalai Lama ... Himself
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Storyline

Every 12 years over 70 million pilgrims gather at the meeting of India's holiest rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna, for a spectacular spiritual festival: the Kumbh Mela. This documentary takes a voyage of discovery through this colorful event through the eyes of several Westerners and an ebullient young Hindu monk, Swami Krishnanand. Featuring encounters with some of India's most respected holy men and exclusive footage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The biggest gathering of people in the history of humanity

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hindi

Release Date:

11 May 2004 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

India

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,263, 24 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$381,225, 11 December 2005
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Mela Films LLC See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Invention vs. Discovery
21 February 2005 | by David FergusonSee all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. My knowledge of the Kumbh Mela was limited to only what I had seen on CNN. Co-filmmakers Maurizio Benazzo and Nick Day offer a documentary that gives us more than an insider's view. We often feel as if we are trespassing, or at a minimum, actually in attendance. This Hindu spiritual festival is held every 12 years and climaxes in a Holy river bathing routine as the planets align. Estimates of attendance reach as high as 70 million people. The organization and structure of the event is fascinating as numerous "camps" are built, each around their particular guru. Many of these appear to be circus sideshows, while others are more serious spiritual leaders.

Nick Day held a brief Q&A after our screening and I was very interested to find out that they stumbled upon the charismatic Swami who guides us through this maze of worshipers, gurus and onlookers. This Swami is the driving force of the film and prevents any semblance of routine documentary blandness from reaching the viewer. Although lacking in true spiritual enlightenment, the film provides a unique, front row seat to this extremely interesting event. The influence of the western world to this traditional event is beyond question, but much of the old world religion survives and even thrives. See this one for the glimpse inside a world we rarely get the opportunity to see.


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