SXSW Film

Daily reviews and interviews

Kumaré

Documentary Feature Competition
D: Vikram Gandhi; with Purva Bedi, Kristen Calgaro

I wasn't surprised to learn that Kumaré producer Stephen Feder worked on Brüno. The comparisons to Sacha Baron Cohen's oeuvre are clear – a fake character tries his best to make rubes of foolish Americans. In this case, filmmaker Gandhi grows out his hair and beard, puts on a robe and fake Indian accent (this Ghandi is from New Jersey), and starts an ashram in Arizona. His underlying message to followers: I am a fake. But no one listens too closely. Instead they believe the guru Kumaré has changed their lives. The documentary is compelling and ever-timely, but it does sag a bit in the middle from repetitiveness and Kumaré's unmasking doesn't come until very late in the film. Where Gandhi diverges from the Baron Cohen model is in the latter's essential meanness: Gandhi would have us believe that becoming a guru changed him as much as it did his disciples.


Friday, March 18, 11am, Alamo Lamar

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More by Joe O'Connell
UT Professor on the Making of Texas Film Epic <i>Giant</i>
UT Professor on the Making of Texas Film Epic Giant
Don Graham's Giant: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Edna Ferber, and the Making of a Legendary American Film

April 13, 2018

SXSW Film Review: <i>If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd</I>
Review: If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd
The highs and lows of one of the most iconic Southern rock bands

March 14, 2018

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle