The Kumbh Mela (Festival of the Urn) in Allahabad, India was a landmark event in human history. This great roving religious festival has moved around India for more than four thousand years, erecting temporary cities along the meandering Ganges River and shaping the role history and spiritual memory play in human consciousness. Lasting 44 days in 2001, it was not just the final Kumbh Mela in a 12-year cycle of festivals. It was the final festival of 12 cycles - the conclusion of a vast 144-year cycle, making it "Maha" Kumbh Mela, the "Great" Festival. Even the planets and stars joined in, providing heavenly alignments not seen for 144 years. An estimated seventy million people came from all over the world, each one praying for peace and rebirth for oneself and for the Planet.
Watching Kumbh Mela: Songs of the River, the viewers find themselves in a mesmerizing spectacle of crowds, smoke, dust, and noise, without intrusive or interpretive narration. The film carries viewers from the crush of frenzied crowds to a surreal dreamlike grace and cinematic meditation.
Featuring: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, female Japanese guru Yogamata Keiko Aikawa, African anthropologist Oldoinyo Laetolile Baaba, Dr. Andrew Weil, Yogi Pilot Baba, and the distinguished BBC reporter, Sir Mark Tully.
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