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.