in about 100 words or less
US 84m, Colour
Director: Vikram Gandhi; Cast: Vikram Gandhi, Purva Bedi, Kristen Calgaro
Kumaré is an ethically dubious, yet engrossing and surprisingly heartfelt documentary about self-proclaimed yogis and their “spiritual” powers. In an effort to explore the legitimacy of these so-called spiritual leaders, Vikram Gandhi invents both his own philosophy: “finding the guru within”, and a bearded character he names Kumaré which he plays with a fake Indian accent throughout the film. In successfully gaining a small group of dedicated followers, Kumaré unexpectedly becomes an integral part of the lives of the people who have found meaning in his “teachings”. In attempting to extricate himself from his character in an unveiling that will expose the truth about his identity, filmmaker Vikram Gandhi reveals as much about himself as he does about human nature and people’s willingness to follow others (Klaus Ming September 2015).