“If someone told to you this story, you wouldn’t believe it.” , this is the opening line of the moving trailer of ‘Hare Krishna! The Mantra, The Movement and the Swami who started it all’ – a documentary that attempts to visual depict the inspiring journey of the legendary spiritual master, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is the one who made ‘Hare Krishna’ a household chant in America back in the 1960’s.
John Griesser is an American photojournalist, with over 50 years of experience in documentary photography and film making. Back in 1970’s he took up the subject of ‘Hare Krishna’ as part of his masters assignment, that became his entry into the spiritual world of India. He became a follower of the ‘Hare Krishna’ movement and continued to document Swamiji and his journey since than. His interest in India’s spiritual traditions deepened, and has made multiple voyages to this land to capture and document the essence of this deep culture. He has also authored three books that discuss the teachings of Bhagavad-Gita.
Griesser along with his wife Jean, followed Swamiji to America, England and Europe and composed eight documentaries on Swami, including the globally recognised ‘Vrindavan: Land of Krishna’. They started a film making venture Inner Voice Productions, Inc. and took up the mantle of making a full length documentary that captures the journey and essence of Swamiji and the Hare Krishna movement.
The result is a 90 minute cinematic composition filled with rare footage of Swamiji, archival photographs, and narration from people who experienced the dawn of Hare Krishna epoch and the dramatic recreated sequences from Swamiji’s life.
The trailer stirringly encapsulates the struggles that ISKCON and Swamiji had to face, when it was dejectedly called as a cult in the initial period of its entry in America. The cinematography and visual montages are affectionately composed by Griesser. The film is written by Jean and is jointly produced by the Griesser couple along with Lauren Ross.
The movie has already nailed the 2017 Feature Competition Jury Prize at the Illuminate Festival and has received optimistic feedback from several other festivals. The Indian distributorship rights have been procured by film director Rohit Shetty and teh film is set to release in 300 theatres in various cities of India on December 15, 2017.
The film is screened in Ahmedabad at PVR. The film is releasing in Hindi as well as English.
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