Kumare (8/8, 9:50pm)

“Incredibly moving — prepare to have your assumptions pitched out the window by this tense, surprisingly probing satirical documentary.” – Village Voice

Challenging all notions of the New Age “guru” phenomenon while maintaining an warm human face and an empathetic sense of humor, Kumaré (winner of SXSW’s 2011 Audience Award) is a rare creature — an emotional-rollercoaster doc as moving as it is funny. This provocative social experiment follows first-generation American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi as he transforms himself into a spiritual mentor, hoping to prove the absurdity of blind faith. Adopting the lilting speech pattern of his Indian grandmother, and diving head-first into a convincing performance art rendition of a wise swami, Vikram sets up shop as a bogus yoga master in Phoenix, AZ, allowing for pitch perfect, gentle mockery of all things sacred — and turquoise. But this is no Borat, for after developing deep and profound connections with people from all walks of life, Vikram must conjure the same kind of inner strength he inspires in his flock to eventually reveal to them his true self. Complete with a genuinely pulse-pounding finale and a healthy batch of Bodhi Tree satire every Angeleno has been waiting for, Kumaré provides a most multifaceted and open-minded look at modern mysticism.
Dir. Vikram Gandhi, 2011, 35mm, 84 min.

Watch the trailer for “Kumare”!
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