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Naked In Ashes
Naked In Ashes
Actors: Shiv Raj Giri, Raman Giri, Santosh Giri
Director: Paula Fouce
Genres: Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 43min

Studio: Victor Multimedia-05 Release Date: 04/14/2009 Run time: 103 minutes


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Movie Details

Actors: Shiv Raj Giri, Raman Giri, Santosh Giri
Director: Paula Fouce
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Religion
Studio: Paradise Filmworks International
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/18/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 43min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"From Darkness Into Light" ~ Yogis, Sadhus, Gurus & Sages, V
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 02/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The recently released film documentary `Naked In Ashes' directed by Paula Fouce is an absolutely breathtaking up close and personal look into the hearts and minds of the modern day Holy Men of India. Travel up and down the River Ganges and meet a variety of yogis, sadhus, gurus and sages as they dispense wisdom and forgiveness to mankind by performing austerities and rituals in an effort to combat the current dark age known as the Kali Yuga.

I simply cannot say enough good things about this amazing production. The urban and rural cinematography is gorgeous, the interviews are insightful and filled with wisdom, and the camera positioning is so close you feel as though you're on the spiritual journey as a participant, not a viewer.

An added and unexpected plus in this documentary are some pointed, timely, possibly prophetic comments concerning the political climate of the country, the ongoing impact of the Kali Yuga on present day spirituality and the envisioned decline of ascetic life in India in the next fifty years. These insights interspersed here and there amongst the wonderful spiritual teachings conveyed in this film make 'Naked In Ashes' a truly intelligent, accessible, unique and important documentary.

The film also contains a mesmerizing Indian soundtrack that adds intensity and wonder to the already exotic atmosphere.

My Highest Recommendation!"
A must-see for anyone interested in Yoga and beyond.....
Yogafrau | USA | 11/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Teaching yoga these days in the "west", can be a challenge for a true Yogi. People want to simply do their Yoga-workout. Not many wonder how the Yogis of India live and do their routine...
I just had to find out... because when you learn what the real Yogis of India do, how they do their yoga and meditation and how they give up worldly things, and more... I mean, they do things, some of us would never...and it may seem very extreme...
Yet one thing is clear....they have discipline...something most of us do not have anymore....

I can only recommend to watch this film... and also "Origins Of Yoga" (which is more about where Yoga came from)... Both these films will make you think...If you are into yoga, even just a little...or into countries like India, or into spiritual things, history, etc... You gotta get it and watch it.. it's well worth it, it's informative...the picture quality is outstanding...such deep beautiful colors....and the music is very beautiful and fits so perfectly.... It's def. on my list of must-see films....and it's def. one of my favorite documentaries.....
As you have asked I have told you this
Scott Meredith | 04/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A wonderful documentary on a lifestyle that is mind-blowing piece of humanity's cultural heritage.

in India there are 13 million yogis, saddhus, and babas, out of a 1 billion population. Some of them are standing babas who never sit or lie down for decades. Other keep their right arm raised continuously for years. Only a very few of them do any kind of fancy asana, beyond plain old half lotus or tailor sitting.

The main focus is Shiv Raj Giri, as he and his tiny band of disciples, including 14-year-old boy Santosh Giri, treks around between Hardiwar and the Himalayan foothills and the Kumbh Mela mega-festival. They wear no or little clothes, they smear their entire bodies with ash, they love the Ganga river. All yogi's in this movie, no yogini's. In many ways they are like homeless people the world over, though they seem a bit more content (Don't believe me about that homeless reference? Read quotes below). It also covered aghori yogi's, who live at the cremation sites full-time, and a number of others.

I could see, as the small band was filmed wandering all over Northern India, how the rest of India was kind of growing up around them, beginning to get overdeveloped with new buildings, power lines, concrete sluices in the rivers, etc. It gave them a melancholy air. Later on Shiv Raj commented on this very point, saying that the government wanted to clear out a lot of old temples and sacred natural areas, and put hotels and parking lots on them. Sad.

One other tiny group is just a duo, Hanuman Das and Barfani Das. They form an interesting pair because the lone disciple's legs are wasted, and he cannot walk. Therefore, the guru carries him everywhere they go, on his shoulders. They live in a small tent by a river and spend their days collecting driftwood for their fire. And of course chanting and so on.

Quotes from the Yogis:

"We are hermits and we will give our life for the sake of our souls."

"I have stood for 12 years to get peace in my soul."

"After one sees the Supreme Lord, this whole world is like insects, whatever you see is worms."

"The trees are being cut down. In the near future we will be scorched by the heat. We know Mother Ganga (river) comes for 5000 years. Now 3500 years are gone, and 1500 years should remain. But due to cutting trees, the time will be much shorter. Mother Ganga will go away from us soon. Clean pure air will also become rare."

"The earlier life ends, the better."

"We humans need vessels to eat. Just so, the gods need human vessels for their feeding. So man is like a vessel to god."

"Shiva is Lord of the Homeless, King of the Himalayas."

"The body has no reality."

"Even after becoming a yogi, there is no peace."

"It is not easy to go to the Parliament to voice your opinions without clothes."

"I pulled a fully loaded jeep for 1 kilometer with my [...]. This [...] control is not easy. No [...] control, no good holy man."

"Every human has 10 senses."

"Today the population of yogi's is going down. in another 50 years you will hardly hear the word 'yogi'."

"When the body suffers one remembers god. For devotion one needs one of two things: either fear or suffering.""
Beautiful footage, empty film
ShriDurga | 08/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Naked in Ashes is a good dessert, loads of tasty sugar with little nutritional value.

Filmmaker Paula Fouce presents amazing documentary footage of India's yogis, loin-clothed mystics roaming the countryside in search of God and enlightenment. If you ever thought your yoga workout at the suburban studio was tough, try standing for 12 years, or holding your hand above your head for 30. If that's too extreme, you might try walking around naked smeared in ash, sitting meditation with a plate of raging fire on your head, or maybe pulling a car with your genitalia. These guys are dead serious.

Fouce, though, seems anything but, at least for the viewer who is not already a committed Hindu. The yogis talk quite a lot about God, the soul, enlightenment, and ultimate reality, but these statements amount to little more than a collection of non sequiturs. Nothing adds up.

A number of questions are left unasked. Where are the yoginis, the female practitioners? How many of these yogis are imposters? How many become yogis simply because they've become addicted to the marijuana high, or to escape social and familial obligations? How many give up the life after a short time?

Watch this like you might a slideshow, for the beautiful imagery. Don't expect to learn much.