Short Cut to Nirvana: Kumbh Mela - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Short Cut to Nirvana: Kumbh Mela Reviews

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June 16, 2012
The story of young swami and his first crush. And when they get to the fat guy.... whoa. How can anyone top that? Oh... It's quite a sideshow. The same two samples being used repeatedly is simply ridiculous. Didn't even mention that it only occurs every 144 years.
June 7, 2010
Film captures rare insights of an interesting spot on earth and an interesting time
February 7, 2010
Very interesting. I am in India and off to the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.
Incredible India !
January 17, 2010
I'm glad I made the time to see it
October 26, 2008
Very intersting look at the world's largest religious festival, located in India, that happens every 12 years. Colorful and informative, but it drags at some parts.
November 15, 2007
Being raised in a tradition where people come to celebrate: Latin culture, Roman Catholic culture, and Burning Man culture I have become obscessed with how the world celebrates in a spirital way.

This film shows how Hindus come together to celebrate and all the different aspects of the celebration.
½ November 10, 2007
I swear these people were puffin the pipe or hittin the bong-they just cut those parts out of the film.-that's the Short Cut To Nirvana LOL!
October 24, 2007
½ October 9, 2007
Gripping and enthralling, what an amazing view into a festival and a culture about which most of us know very little.
½ June 16, 2007
This is a documentary about Kumbh mela - the largest religious festival on Earth, with 70 million people meeting at the Ganges and Yumuna rivers in India every 12 years. This movie was filmed at the Kumbh mela in 2001, and they did quite a good job of getting around the event, meeting a lot of gurus, sahdus and other interesting characters. I didn't know anything about it before i saw the film, but I thought it did a good job of capturing some of the flavour of the experience in an impartial way.
December 12, 2006
I wonder what this is about, i think ill see it!
September 27, 2005
Beautiful and colorful. Great sound track! Makes you wanna go there yourself!
September 21, 2005
[i][b]Short Cut to Nirvana[/b][/i], the movie, is extremely informative yet with good sense of humor.

I felt touched and inspired by its magnitude and simplicity.

It shows 70 million people united for the sake of goodness, for peace and universal love.

The H. H. Dalai Lama appearance, his charisma, and his message of tolerance are deep and relevant.

It made me want to go to the next Kumbh Mela and experience more of it!

Thank Maurizio and Nick for this remarkable experience!

The message stays with you!

Peace for all!
September 20, 2005
What a ride...
A spiritual movie with humor and tons of love...
November 27, 2004
:fresh: A remarkable effort to give the world a look into an extraordinary yet little known religious festival in India that brings fifty million pilgrims together in thousands of camps on the banks of the Ganges every twelve years in a spirit of peace, love, and harmony. This is a spontaneous unscripted documentary, planned and executed in just a few weeks by two dedicated and talented film makers. The characters are all real. The film does a wonderful job of capturing the diversity of this gathering from the tawdry to the sublime, without being judgmental. A great soundtrack and well chosen camera effects help the audience share the essence of the place and the intensity of the collective trance. It wisely refrains from trying to explain what cannot be explained.
November 25, 2004
[font=Arial][size=2]"Kumbh Mela: Short Cut to Nirvana" is a beautifully crafted documentary that details the organized chaos and curious piety surrounding the Kumbh Mela, an Indian religious festival held on 12-year intervals for the past two millennia. The most recent festival attracted an estimated 70 million people.

Filmmakers Maurizio Benazzo and Nick Day do a wonderful job in capturing the color, commotion and cacophony of the Kumbh Mela, which seems to put more emphasis on razzle-dazzle than religion. The festival is overpopulated with swamis, yogis and gurus who offer opaque words of wisdom designed to help steer the faithful to a more serene life and afterlife. Yet the Kumbh Mela often seems more like a circus: evening theatrical events present religious dramas with some damn hammy actors going to town in what are supposed to be plays of faith, special kiosks are set up to enable the attendees to stay connected to the Internet, and special kitchens are engineered to prepare heaping gobs of what looks to be some of the least appetizing food ever put on a plate.

The film benefits from having Swami Krishnanand, a young articulate and photogenic Indian mystic, as its quasi-narrator who tries to make sense of what is going on. The swami gets to show the camera much of the festival and even shows off a lot of himself in an extended sequence where he strips to a loincloth and bathes in the Ganges River.

"Kumbh Mela: Short Cut to Nirvana" is a handsomely photographed, beautifully edited, and constantly absorbing glimpse into a unique corner of the human experience. Western audiences may not understand everything they see in this film, but the film nonetheless makes for absorbing viewing and is highly recommended for anyone in search of a different answer to universal questions of faith and hope.

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