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The Mahabharata (Brook) DVD

Peter Brook, 1989


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Film Details

Directed by Peter Brook

Produced in 1989

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - European Film, British Film, American film

MovieMail's Review

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.

David Parkinson on 7th May 2005
Author of 245 reviews

The Mahabharata (Brook)

Film Description

The TV version of Brook's epic film fantasy. Based on a 3,500 year old Indian narrative, this was originally adapted for an acclaimed stage production by Brook and Jean Claude-Carriere, and attempts nothing less than to tell the story of mankind. Imaginatively rethought for the screen, the visual intensity and rich use of colour is complemented by the performances of a lively and diverse international cast.

DVD Details

Certificate: U

Publisher: BFI

Length: 312 mins

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Format: DVD Colour

Region: 2

Released: 30th May 2005

Cat No: BFIVD697

DVD Extras

  • 2 discs
  • 24-page illustrated booklet.

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