Kumaré | Chicago Reader

Kumaré

This documentary by American-born director Vikram Gandhi records his mission to debunk huckster spiritualism by posing as an Indian guru and espousing a made-up philosophy to anyone who will pay to hear it. The movie centers on Gandhi's experience running a yoga retreat in central Arizona: the project leads him to question his cynicism when he observes followers actually benefitting from his nonsensical advice. It's a fascinating social experiment, but not much of a movie. Gandhi's editing is barely coherent (this often looks like a coming attraction for itself), and most of his ideas about narrative structure come from reality TV. Even more frustrating is his refusal to divulge crucial information about the project, such as how much money he made from deceiving people and whether he gave it back after revealing himself to be a fraud.

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