When someone asks if you know what Yoga is about, what is the first answer that comes to your mind? “It’s a physical exercise to make people well“or”A very old practice that helps with anxiety”. None of these answers (and perhaps none other) will be able to answer exactly what Yoga is. And this is the main starting point of the documentary “On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace”.
The production is a journey around the world, starting with its creation: based on the book by the British photographer Terry O’Neill, created by the Brazilian and Pernambuco filmmaker Hector Dhalia, with respondents from India, New York and many other places in the East and West. There are almost 90 minutes of beautiful images and a narrative that calms and imprisons at the same time: we want to know more, we are passionate about the images and are taken to relaxation and tranquility.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
It all started when O’Neill, after a long career as a photographer important celebrities, performed spine surgery and lost the movement of his right arm with the diagnosis that he would never move it again. Not satisfied, he seeks the Yoga and Meditation to heal. Upon entering this new phase he takes photographs of Yoga teachers and creates the book “On Yoga: Peace Architecture”, Which also gives the film its name.
The documentary starts from this story, but does not concern itself with making a narrative about the photographer. The idea is to bring another perspective on what we know about Yoga. For this, it brings many interviews accompanied by surprising images that reflect on how much Yoga is a philosophy of life capable of transforming our perception of life.
“Yoga is not just a 45 minute class, Yoga is not just on the mat […] Yoga is all sigh, Yoga is you”, Says one of the interviewees, not nominated by the documentary filmmaker. In fact, this is an important point: none of the interviewees is accompanied by their name, location … The film involves us to the point of not needing it.
The documentary discusses a lot about our attempt to explain what Yoga is. What happens is that it may be inexplicable and a Western need to conceptualize things. One of the interviewees talks about the Orient making Yoga to be experienced, experienced in everyone’s body, as a practice of expanding consciousness.
Another very interesting discussion is that “we were born to learn to die”. These are the words of one of the interviewees. About life being a process of connecting with the other spiritual world, about being a passage and about how we see this reality.
WHY IS IT VERY WORTH TO WATCH?
The reasons for attending are many: photography is beautiful, leads us to understand the message without needing many words. But also, the words and connections made between them and the images themselves are one of the main successes of this production.
The documentary proposes to know others cultures and reflect on our way of life. It also talks about how we are seeing reality and especially about other possibilities of existence. All of this accompanied by a sonority (by Silvio Piesco) and colors that lead to relaxation. It is a unique and aesthetically impeccable experience.
Have it available on Netflix, click here.
Are there any other Yoga films that you want to nominate? Leave it in the comments!