I can't recommend this Beatles documentary strongly enough. It is must-see viewing for fans of The Beatles. Back in February I reviewed the film in my weekly column (read that review HERE); TJR and I also discussed the film at length via an episode available to view on YouTube HERE...Robert Kinsler
Monday, May 09, 2022
'The Beatles and India' coming to DVD, Blu-ray on June 21, 2022
New from Silva Screen Music Group/Renoir Pictures:
The Beatles And India
Via MVD Entertainment Group
“When I first heard Indian music, I just couldn’t really believe that it was so great, and the more I heard of it, the more I liked it. It just got bigger and bigger, like a snowball."
~ George Harrison
In 1968, the world’s most popular rock & roll band, The Beatles, had achieved mass fame and fortune yet were searching for deeper meaning in their lives. Under the spiritual guidance of Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Beatles took a trip to Rishikesh, India to study Transcendental Meditation® and set out on a path of deep enlightenment that would change the world.
The award-winning feature documentary, The Beatles And India (Silva Screen Productions, Renoir Pictures), examines how Indian music and culture shaped the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo and in turn, explores how The Beatles served as ambassadors of this pioneering World music sound and cultural movement.
Drawing together an expansive archive of footage including contemporaneous locale shooting in India, recordings, photographs, and compelling first-hand interviews, The Beatles And India exhaustively documents this East-meets-West touchstone in pop culture history. Inspired by Ajoy Bose’s book Across The Universe - The Beatles In India, the documentary was produced by British Indian music entrepreneur Reynold D’Silva and directed by Bose (his directorial debut) and cultural researcher Pete Compton. The Beatles And India has been awarded Best Film Audience Choice and Best Music at the 2021 UK Asian Film Festival “Tongues On Fire.” The Beatles And India has also been nominated for Best Documentary at the 2022 New York Indian Film Festival, and will be the closing film for the festival.
The Beatles were first introduced to Indian music while filming their 1965 film, Help!, which featured Indian musicians in a restaurant scene. George Harrison would become a lifelong impassioned devotee of Indian music. He would soon buy his first sitar, befriend and study under sitar master Ravi Shankar and employ the instrument to revolutionary effect linking the worlds of pop music with Indian music on The Beatles song, “Norwegian Wood,” which appears on their Rubber Soul album. That song marked the group's, and particularly Harrison’s, full-on immersion into Indian music, resulting in a raga rock sound heard on The Beatles songs, “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Love You To” (Revolver), “Within You Without You” (Sgt. Pepper), and “The Inner Light" (B-side to the “Lady Madonna” single).
In early July 1966, while returning from shows in the Philippines, The Beatles made a quick stopover in New Delhi, India, marking their first trip to the country. Less than two years later, in February 1968, the group would return for an extended sojourn at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, India where they would take a training course in Transcendental Meditation®. Their search for spiritual enlightenment would both shape their thinking and values and indelibly color the sounds of their expanding musical palette.
The Beatles And India is an unforgettable audio-visual experience that spotlights the legacy of that historic visit, chronicling The Beatles’ crucial role as avatars of a musical movement inspiring newfound societal and cultural awareness, weaving the fabric of pop and Indian music into a unified force of positivity and spiritual exploration.