prem sanyas

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Prem Sanyas (Die Leuchte Asiens/The Light of Asia), 1925

“…[Prem Sanyas] opens with documentary shots of tourists in Bombay watching street performers. Then a white-bearded old man sitting under the bodhi tree tells the tourists the story of Gautama (Himansu Rai), son of King Suddodhana and Queen Maya, who left his consort Gopa (Seeta Devi) and became a wandering teacher credited with founding Buddhism. The religious epic, with its idealized figures, takes up the narrative in flashback and ends with Gopa kneeling before Gautama asking to become his disciple. The film exhibits a strange but fascinating hybrid between exoticism and authenticity.” (via)

(clip via ZamanProduction)