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Editor's NoteTHE MAHABHARATA, a 2,000-year-old sacred work of the Hindu tradition, is the source for director Peter Brook's most unusual film. After spending much of the 1980s laboring on a nine-hour version of the 18-volume Sanskrit text, which in English means "The Political Story of the Human Race," he reduced the work to six hours for television and three for film. Adapted by Jean-Claude Carrière, the film stars Vittorio Mezzogiorno as Arjuna, the leader of the virtuous Pandava clan, which wages war throughout the epic with the power-hungry Kauravas, who are led by Arjuna's half-brothers, Karna (Jeff Kissoon) and Duryodhana (Georges Corraface). Although the benign Lord Krishna (Bruce Myers) cannot intervene, he provides advice for both clans on protecting dharma, the order of the universe. As with the mythology of any culture--or any Wagnerian opera, for that matter--there are sections that can be grasped only by initiates. But the dramatic impact of most of this compendium of stories and ethical teaching, enacted by an international cast with only minimal sets and props, can be appreciated by anyone. Indeed, for viewers ready to accept Brook's conventions, which are not unlike those of the silent film, this can be a valuable entry point to a fascinating cultural tale.
Cast & Crew
|Robert Langdon Lloyd|
|Peter Brook - Director|
Plot SummaryDirector Peter Brook's screen presentation of the legendary Indian myth. Given an added universal dimension by its use of a widely varied international cast, this epic film is based on Jean-Claude Carrière's impressive, nine-hour stage adaptation of the allegorical Indian poem.
|"If you listen carefully, at the end, you'll be somebody else."----Narrator|