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NEW Shortcut To Nirvana (DVD)


Price: CDN$ 19.59
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Product Details

  • Language: English, Hindi
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • ASIN: B000ARG2R8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,974 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 31 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A beautiful film....touching and real. Sept. 28 2005
By Anthony J. Bell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Kumbh Mela, although a religious festival, could also be compared to 100 Burning Man Festivals happening in the same place (or 1000 Woodstocks). This documentary, the first to capture the taste and flavour of this remarkable gathering of humans (watch others jump on the bandwagon...) is really quite superb. No attempt is made to deliver a judgement of the event. Film-makers Benazzo and Day, who are never seen or heard during the movie, cleverly let the images and participants themselves define the experience for the viewer. In front of their camera, spiritually-minded folks from India and all round the world, mix with wide-eyed Westerners to create a fascinating juxtaposition of worldviews. Universal truths, beyond dogma and doctrine, bubble below the surface of the movie, surfacing occasionally, as when the Dalai Lama chats to a hushed audience in a large tent. There are other moments of high comedy. A young Indian devotee accompanies the film-makers, enthusiastically explaining what is going on. They meet an attractive spiritually curious blonde nurse from New York, and as the days roll on, and the young guru answers her questions on the Vedanta, they strike up a strong friendship. He confesses privately to the camera just how deeply touched he is by her inner light. She, meanwhile, works to distinguish the holy from the more worldly facts of male attention. This exemplifies the success of the movie: the eternal mixes with mundane, as one shaman sings beautifully to the lord, another hauls a car by his foreskin. A mother loses her child, and finds it again...someone is buried alive as a religious stunt... the crew stumbles across a bizarre Indian transvestite theatre. All of this is played out in the lush backround of the Ganges, the air thick with a depth of colour that seems to only exist on the subcontinent. The layers of the visual (it is really most beautifully filmed), are complimented by a haunting soundtrack. Day's editing establishs the perfect pace, relaxing the viewer slowly into a sublime state where they can almost smell the fires and incense. And when, at the end, everyone runs into the Ganges, in a flow of ecstatic human joy that can actually be seen from space, the viewer's heart and soul seems to leap along with the mass of jumping, splashing Kumbh Melans. I can't recommend this movie too highly. I found it deeply touching and more "real" than any attempt to "sell a story" of why humans are on earth and what it all means. Buy this, and if you can, project it on a large screen for your friends.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
"I WANT TO DANCE!" ~ Intense Spirituality For The 21st Century Nov. 16 2005
By Brian E. Erland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The Story of the Kumbh Mela in Hindu Mythology: Long ago the Devas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) were fighting over a pot (Kumbh) containing the "Nectar of Immortality." Indra grabbed the pot and raced for the heavens as the demons pursued not far behind in an epic chase that lasted for twelve days. To the Gods one day is equal to one year. Thus was born the Pot Festival, the Kumbh Mela, celebrated every twelve years to commerate Indra's heroic deed.

No one seems to know for sure exactly how long this festival has been celebrated. Some sources say the Kumbh Mela has an unbroken history going back to 200 B.C. while others push the date back as far as 500 B.C. Whatever the case one thing is certain, it's the longest running religious festival in history. The most recent addition of the festival occurred in 2001 and an estimated crowd of over 70 million pilgrims attended making this event the largest gathering of mankind in the history of the world!

Considering the immense history and the staggering logistics involved in attempting to encapsulate the heart and soul of such an event into one film, the filmmakers certainly faced an absolutely mind-boggling task. Yet somehow, someway Maurizio Benazzo and Nick Day have accomplished the impossible with the release of their masterpiece, 'Short Cut to Nirvana!'

There is so much going on in this film that it's difficult to decide where to begin and what to focus on. Witnessing such an incredible mass of humanity gathered in one place at one time is enough to take your breath away. However don't become too absorbed in the exotic landscape or you'll miss out on a wealth of wonderful information provided by the commentary and numerous interviews interspersed throughout, making this documentary as fascinating intellectually as it is spiritually and emotionally.

Pure and simple, this is the best documentary on spirituality I have ever seen! There are no visible flaws in this production; cinematography, storyline and soundtrack all come together to provide the ultimate viewing experience of the Kumbh Mela. The only thing better would to actually be there.

This is a film that demands repeat viewings to fully absorb and appreciate the immensity and profound impact of the Kumbh Mela. However in the final analysis you will discover that human words and emotions are inadequate in describing what is seen, heard and felt during this magnificent production so lovingly provided by Benazzo and Day. You will find yourself reduced to one simple statement to be echoed along with the vast multitude of devotees gathered along the banks of the Ganges for a ritual bathing, the highlight of the festival. "Hail Holy Mother Ganga!"
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
So so, more freakshow than spiritual journey May 28 2007
By Spyral - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I wasn't too impressed with this film. It was hyped up quite a bit when it came out, but I don't think it delivered. It seemed to be, basically, a small bunch of wide-eyed naive Westerners being led around by a young swami of dubious character. He showed them all the crazy far-out gurus and swamis and guys who stretch out their genitals, etc. I think that had the filmmakers known their subject matter a little better the film would have been much better. Instead we are experiencing a proxy version of these young astonished, but ultimately ignorant, foreigners' quasi-religious carnival ride. It also seemed to wander around in it's subject matter. By the end I was just glad to be able to move on to watch something else. Also, why did someone tag this film with "Bhutan"?
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Dissappointed! March 30 2006
By Sivakumar Patibanda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Shortcut to Nirvana:
If you are looking for the sensational aspect of mystic India, this is perhaps a good movie to watch. I was dissappointed! This film fails to capture the spiritual intent and solemnity of the Kumbh Mela. Pilgrims eagerly look forward this rare festival for spiritual reasons! These "other diversions" are meant to inspire us to move beyond the material limitations. The story line of the film was weak and failed to inspire many of those who watched it with me.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
webmaster please note: this is a correction! Sept. 21 2005
By K Zethmayr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is a correction for a review submitted earlier. The most glaring error was "a event." Please replace the earlier text with the one that follows below the **** line.

********* the corrected review:

A glimpse into the biggest spiritual gathering on Earth in terms of numbers of participants. I came to the film as an eggheady Christian looking for common ground with other spiritual corners of the globe. Shortcut to Nirvana is a superb vehicle for such connection.

As others have stated, Kumbh Mela is too vast a festival to be crammed into a nutshell, and the filmmakers have not tried to do so. What they give us is a warm, enthusiastic overview of an event that moves a rich variety of people to community and vitality in their quest for godly energy. This westerner felt moved and encouraged to see Hindus of widely differing practices, as well as the Dalai Lama, and all seekers who attended, peacefully embracing each other's humanity and expressing their faith or searching for understanding. Shortcut to Nirvana will not tell you all you never knew about the Hindu world, nor the other worlds it touches. It may well inspire you to seek more understanding about those realms.


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