Breath of the Gods Movie Review
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Capturing the beauty of the creative process with haunting precision has become second nature to director Jan Schmidt-Garre as he continues to fascinate audiences with his wide range of subjects, both narrative and realistic. And it comes as no surprise that his latest investigation into the mystical world of the ancient Indian philosophy of yoga proves to be his most emotionally and visually powerful yet.
Garre’s interest is sparked by his wife’s newfound love for what is now considered a mere fad in the Western world. Naturally, his hunger to dig deeper leads him to Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, the man now known as ‘the father of modern yoga’, and we are taken on a journey through his hundred year life and its unwavering devotion to the philosophy. Personal accounts of his practices are provided by his former students, Pattabhi Jois and B.K.S. Lyengar, both of whom played a major role in the Western rise of yoga and continue to practice well into their nineties.
Laced between the at times long-winded musings of the underlying principles and practices are beautifully shot demonstrations of the different asanas (body positions), which are awe-inspiring even for those skeptics who roll their eyes at the more religious aspects of the practice. And while yoga enthusiasts will undoubtedly find this film to be more fruitful than the average viewer, the film’s aesthetic attributes make it much like a yoga session, soothing and relaxing its audience, and providing them with a deeper understanding of the trend popping up all across America.
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