The Mahabharata (1989 film)  

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The Mahabharata is a 1989 film version of the Indian epic, Mahabharata, directed by Peter Brook. Brook's original 1985 stage play was 9 hours long, and toured around the world for four years. In 1989, it was reduced to under 6 hours for television (TV mini series). Later it was also reduced to about 3 hours for theatrical and DVD release. The screenplay was the result of eight years work by Peter Brook, Jean-Claude Carrière and Marie-Hélène Estienne. For the casting an international selection of actors was intentionally chosen, to show that the nature of the Indian epic is the story of all humanity.

Contents

Plot

In general terms, the story involves epic incidents between two warring families, the Pandavas (representing the good side) and the Kauravas (representing the bad side). Both sides, being the offspring of kings and gods, fight for dominion. They have both been advised by the god Krishna to live in harmony and abstain from the bloody lust for power. Yet their fights come to threaten the very order of the Universe. The plot is framed as a narrative between the Brahmin sage Vyasa and the Hindu deity Ganesha, and directed towards an unnamed Indian boy who comes to him inquiring about the story of the human race.

Reception

The productions use of an international cast caused heated intercultural debate. Negative criticism came from Indian scholar Pradip Bhattacharya who felt that Brook's interpretation "was not a portrayal of a titanic clash between the forces of good and evil, which is the stuff of the epic... [but] the story of the warring progeny of some rustic landlord".

Cast

Awards

In 1990, the film won the award for Performing Arts of the International Emmy Awards and the Audience Award for Best Feature at the São Paulo International Film Festival.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Mahabharata (1989 film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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