LA Theatrical Release: October 17
Awake: The Life of Yogananda is a feature-length documentary about Swami Paramahansa Yogananda, the iconic Indian saint and teacher known for Autobiography of a Yogi. Through first-person narrative, powerful reenactments, archival footage, colorful cinematographic metaphors, an evocative soundtrack by Michael Mollura and Vivek Maddala, chants sung by Krishna Das, and narration by Bollywood star Anupam Kher, Awake reveals this remarkable life.
Co-directors Paola di Floria and Lisa Leeman along with producer Peter Rader, adapt the story of one of the greatest spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. Awake does a formidable job paying homage to Yogananda, allowing devotees to viscerally meditate on his teachings; simultaneously, it is approachable for the Yogananda—or yoga—newbie. Complex spiritual concepts are distilled into easily digestible, non-dogmatic teachings with commentary from authorities in the fields of yoga history, meditation, and neuroscience, proving context describing how the Western world was ready for his teachings.
We see Yogananda remain committed to his path even amidst inquiry, challenge, and hardship in a transforming world. The inspirational journey of Awake is bound to awaken your own path; don’t miss the opportunity to see this epic and timeless film on the big screen.
Opens in LA on October 17: awaketheyoganandamovie.com
Reviewed by Nadine Truong, an LA-based filmmaker, Ashtanga enthusiast, and Vinyasa/Power Flow Yoga teacher: nadinetruong.