7.5/10
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36 user 25 critic

Kumaré (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 13 March 2011 (USA)
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A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. At the height of his popularity, the Guru Kumaré must reveal his true identity to his disciples and unveil his greatest teaching of all.

Director:

Vikram Gandhi
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vikram Gandhi ... Himself
Toby Toby ... Herself: Lilé
Greg Greg ... Himself: Vishalé
Molly Molly ... Herself: Mataré
Kimberley Kimberley ... Herself: Durgé
Stewart Stewart ... Himself: Antakaté
Joyce Joyce ... Herself: Joycé
Sue Sue ... Herself: Yesudasé
Rachel Rachel ... Herself: Gangé
Bobby Bobby ... Himself: Vijayé
Teresa Teresa ... Herself: Amaré
Riad Riad ... Himself: Charlé
Rachel Rachel ... Herself - Taré
Donna Donna ... Herself: Begalé
Andre Andre ... Himself: Ganavaté
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Storyline

A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. At the height of his popularity, the Guru Kumaré must reveal his true identity to his disciples and unveil his greatest teaching of all.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of a false prophet.

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kumare See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,601, 24 June 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$131,417, 21 December 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Docventures: Uskonto (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Fascinating and Troubling Film about Human Spirituality
19 March 2011 | by JustCuriositySee all my reviews

The highly provocative film Kumare had its world premiere this week at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. The film was very well-received and created a lot of buzz, because of how it was made. Everyone was saying you must see Kumare and not surprisingly it won the Audience Award for Best Documentary.

Kumare is fascinating, because it is somewhere between a documentary and a reality TV show. In the film Director Vikram Gandhi moves to Phoenix, AZ where he pretends to be a wise Indian guru and begins to recruit followers to his yoga sessions. He develops a group of followers and keeps the game going for months. Even though he is making it up, he finds that there are many people desperation for spiritual guidance that are easily convinced and willing to follow him. The film raises lots of questions about spirituality, human gullibility, and the role of spiritual leaders. He certainly shows how easy it is for those with ill intentions to build a cult-like following. The film crew took no money and Kumare attempted to teach a message of self-empowerment to his followers since he always intended to reveal himself to them. The content of the documentary was entertaining, provocative, and humorous. From an artistic point-of-view, the young documentary filmmakers should be commended for raising important questions about human nature and religion.

However, many in the audience seem deeply troubled by their methods of impersonating a guru and lying to people about whom they were and what their intentions. At times, the humor of the film was based on mocking the followers for how easily they were deceived by bogus chants and practices. It was also clear that many people told Kumare intimate details of their lives. While it seems that many of the participants benefited from his teachings of self-empowerment, some were clearly very angry at how they were deceived. While they didn't take money, they were using to advance their careers. There is something deeply exploitative in the way that they were deceived. Kumare raises a lot of interesting ethical questions that should be explored by those who are making documentary films. To put it simply, were the dishonest means that they used to achieve a worthwhile and interesting end appropriate?


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