From Baba Ramdev to Deepak Chopra, the popularity of spiritual gurus in India and abroad among the people who find everything about them fascinating, is undeniable. But what if you found out that the guru you believed in was not a spiritual man at all?
Brooklyn-based filmmaker Vikram Gandhi decided to turn into a spiritual guru Sri Kumaré from a fictional village in India to see how far he could get away with being a new entrant into America’s burgeoning Yoga industry. In character as Kumaré, Gandhi ventured into Arizona to spread his made-up philosophy and gain followers, which happened soon enough. While he was hoping to prove how phony the entire guru industry is, though, Gandhi ended up finding that he could actually improve the lives of his followers.
Released in 2012. Kumaré won the best documentary film award at the SXSW film festival and many film critics compared Gandhi’s deception to Sasha Baron Cohen’s character in Borat. The full documentary is currently available for download on film’s website.