Naked in Ashes (2005)
In this intimate documentary about the lives of India's Yogis, filmmaker Paula Fouce explores the hearts and minds of these modern day holy men, who carry on a little seen spiritual tradition with little to no ties to conventional, material life.
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Critic Reviews for Naked in Ashes
Paula Fouce's documentary about several of these yogis gives us a kind of cinéma vérité peek into their lives as they perform their rituals and prepare for the great meeting, or Kumbh Mela, of yogis in Ujjain, held in 2003.
Does so much of what we want from documentary -- it teaches us new ways that lives can be lived. And religion or no, that always expands the spirit.
Naked in Ashes could easily provide answers but doesn't, and so it invites only unexamined faith or skepticism.
As an intimate glimpse into an otherwise hidden world, it's admittedly absorbing, but the subjects merit a more rigorous portrait.
With Naked in Ashes, Los Angeles-based filmmaker Paula Fouce manages a dubious feat of underachievement: She's made a documentary about Hindu mystics that's only marginally enlightening about its subject matter.
An inspirational and cautionary film that documents the hermetic lives of a handful of Indian yogis.
With its TV-style production values and bland educational tone, Naked in Ashes might be suitable for PBS or the Discovery Channel, but it's not much of a feature film.
It idolizes the idea of spiritual purity without offering any insight into what it really means.
Plenty thought-provoking, but it's not much of a movie and ultimately inspires curiosity rather than passion.
An edifying look at the lives and spiritual practices of twenty Hindu holy men in India who meditate, serve others and take on austerities as part of their path.
Pictures one of the fascinating groups -- here, related Yogis -- who will make up one of India's immense festivals along the Ganges.
Cleverly avoids passing judgment on some seemingly bizarre behaviors, while at the same time explaining how a 5,000-year-old tradition can really mean something today.
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