Broadcast last night on BBC2, this documentary follows six Hindu pilgrims as they prepare to and travel to Allahabad in India to be part of the Kumbh Mela festival, which centres on purification rituals in the Ganges river itself. The festival happens every 12 years and is special because it happens at a place where two sacred rivers are thought to meet. The Kumbh Mela claims to be the largest gathering of humans ever. The documentary is a fascinating way of dealing with the the culmination of one of the world's largest and oldest religions, its philosophies, beliefs and traditions. A beautiful way of learning about a festival and a religion possibly distanced from many Western viewers. The characters are lively and the photography engaging.
My final thought was that there should be more religious documentaries on TV. Maybe documentaries are a way to bring intercultural and interreligious dialogue to the forefront of political debate?
Kumbh Mela: The Greatest Show on Earth, BBC2, 9pm, Tuesday 30th July 2013 is available on iPlayer until Tuesday 6th August 2013
Carpe Diem xx