By: David Shapiro Producer, Uplifting Cinema Pvt. Ltd
During a number of sessions, I had the privilege of watching the entire “India’s Book of Wisdom: The Bhagavata Purana.” The genre is that of an art film – mood and style reveal substance. The “culture of the Bhagavatam” is the hero of this story. We get bits and pieces of it , particularly dance, art, and music, throughout the movie. Philosophy mostly sits in the background while sentiments of bhakti take center stage. The approach of the female director is studied, deliberate, methodical, and revelatory – a gentle, feminine touch that is both confident and reassuring. There are no attempts at dramatic punctuations or three act structures. This is a path of discovery for both the host and audience. There is not much pretense in Krishna Ksetra Swami’s role as the inquiring host. His humble nature immediately puts the viewer at ease, and he is a credible ally in a mutual journey despite the fact that we know that he knows where this is all going. Actually, I wasn’t sure at times where the wandering was leading. It picks up speed as it proceeds and finally crescendos in the final twenty minutes to a predictable, yet satisfying, conclusion. We get the transcendental logic in bits and pieces which complete the puzzle as the theme progresses. Krishna is seen increasingly as the source of the light of the Bhagavat – as it should be. What binds this patchwork of cultural mileux’s together is a superb score by Kai Engel. He provides the waves upon which we undulate and move toward the shore. The director, Inci Mutlu, has obviously understood not only the profundity of the Srimad Bhagavatam, but it’s potential to liberate the soul. Main cinematographer, Filip Gour, has a sensitive and creative eye that takes its time to ponder, reflect, and contemplate. The entire presentation is a meditation that can elevate and inspire. Thanks to all involved; they should be very gratified with the result.