The Mahabharata (Brook) View large image

Film Details

Directed by: Peter Brook

Produced: 1989

Countries & Regions: France, United Kingdom, United States

DVD Details

Certificate: U

Studio: British Film Institute

Length: 312 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 30 May 2005

Cat No: BFIVD697

Extras:
Languages(s): English
Interactive Menu
Screen ratio 1:1.33

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The Mahabharata (Brook)

Cast: Georges Corraface , Urs Bihler , Miki Manojlovic , Ryszard Cieslak , Ciaran Hinds , Vittorio Mezzogiorno , Bruce Myers , Yoshi Oida , Jean-Paul Denizon , Mamadou Dioumé , Miriam Goldschmidt , Robert Langton-Lloyd , Julien Maurel , Mallika Sarabhai

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Peter Brook’s film version of the Mahabharata, the oldest Indian story, at the heart of their culture and religion. The central story of... Read More

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Peter Brook’s film version of the Mahabharata, the oldest Indian story, at the heart of their culture and religion. The central story of the Mahabharata is the family feud between two groups of rival cousins, the Pandavas and the Kauravas, which becomes a world-shattering war, an Armageddon which leaves millions dead.

Translating as `The Poetical History of Humanity', the Mahabharata is a 100,000-stanza Sanskrit epic that's more than 10 times longer than the Bible. Having already condensed its contents for his stage adaptation, Peter Brook discarded more subplots and philosophising for this still sprawling version that he completed (astonishingly) in three months for $5 million. Divided into three parts, the story centres on the rivalry for the throne of Hastinapura between the five sons of King Pandu and the 100 offspring of his brother, Dhritarashtra. `The Game of Dice' reveals how the Kauravas chanced upon power; `Exile in the Forest' chronicles the Pandavas' 13 years in the wilderness; and `The War' depicts the cousins' climactic showdown. Given its origins and budgetary limitations, the action is necessarily theatrical. While this might dilute the scale of the adventure, it lends it an intimacy that enhances the thematic universality, which is made all the more encompassing by Brook's shrewd decision to have each Pandava hail from a different ethnic origin. Prepare to be enthralled.

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